Ways To Actually Make Money Online
It’s pretty easy to make money online. What’s tough is to make enough money online to quit your job and do it full-time.
I’ve met hundreds of people who make between $100 and $2,000 a month online, but very few who make a full-time income.
Of course, you’ll hear success stories all over social media — people who make insane money online — but these are the exceptions.
Unfortunately, it’s never as easy as running a few Facebook ads and making bank or publishing a Kindle book and becoming a bestseller.
Here’s how I know: I’ve built my entire career online. It’s made me a millionaire and helped me reach financial independence at the age of 30.
101 Ways To Make Money Online
Here are 101 ways you can actually earn money online:
- Take Online Surveys
- Use Capital One Shopping
- Install Rakuten
- Sell Your Old Stuff
- Trade Stocks
- Rent your RV
- Rent your apartment with Airbnb
- Rent Empty Space
- Start and Monetize a Blog
- Live a Healthy Life/Lose Weight
How Can I Make Money Online Right Now?
As I’ve said, creating a real and sustainable income stream online takes time, work, dedication — and a passion for what you’re doing. It takes more than just an Internet connection and some free time.
These first ideas are ways to make money online that help minimize the up-front time investment and are ways to make money online now:
Take Online Surveys
Each time you take a survey, you can earn points to use on gift cards or a PayPal cashout.
You won’t earn a living hanging out on survey sites, but you can pick up some extra cash for a night out or a good takeout meal.
And if you’re going to be surfing social media on the bus or train anyway, you may as well turn that time into a few extra dollars on a survey site instead.
Swagbucks lets you earn in other ways, too, such as surfing the web, watching videos, or doing product trials.
- Start earning and cashing out earnings today.
- Easy to work online surveys into your daily routine.
- Not a source of significant earnings.
- Surveys aren’t always available.
Use Capital One Shopping
If you already shop online, Capital One Shopping could help you earn some money on the side right now while you are shopping.
Capital One Shopping, formerly Wikibuy, works as a plug-in in your web browser while you shop or as a mobile app. The plug-in will let you know if it finds savings on a site you’re using. It can also alert you of price drops.
The shopping credits can add up, especially if you happen upon a 7.5 percent or higher promotion.
Install Rakuten (formerly eBates)
Rakuten is another option that could help you earn some money on the side while you shop online.
Formerly known as eBates, Rakuten works as a plug-in in your web browser while you shop. If Rakuten offers cash back on a site you’re using, the plug-in will let you know.
The cash back can add up, especially if you happen upon a 7.5 percent or higher promotion.
- Money adds up as you shop.
- Not usually a significant source of money.
Sell Your Old Stuff
If you have old electronics, shelf after shelf of used books or a garage full of tools you don’t need, you could consider your stuff inventory.
Selling your items online can give you instant cash with sites like Decluttr. It’s best to do some market research so you’ll know the value of your things up front. Sooner or later, you may regret having a fire sale.
- You already have the items.
- You’ll get paid instantly with each sale.
- Selling in a rush can lower profits.
- You may regret selling your stuff.
Best Side Hustles for 2021
If you’re looking for how to get started earning cash on top your 9-5, you’re in luck! We just published our completed guide “The Best Side Hustles for 2021.” It features our top 23 side hustles that can earn anything from a little extra spending money to thousands of dollars per month! Just enter your e-mail below and we’ll send you the full guide!
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Trading stocks is one of the most preferred methods of making money online. You can use robo advisors to do the hard work for you, or if you have some financial acumen, you can take control yourself.
There’s plenty of commission-free trading platforms that can help you keep more of the money you make.
- You can make a lot of money trading stocks and other financial instruments
- You can lose your capital
Rent Your RV
If you own an RV, you can turn it into a source of passive income by renting it out to travelers and holidaymakers. Websites like RVShare and Outdoorsy make it easier than ever before to rent out your RV and you get to set the availability and pricing to make sure you’re happy with the deal.
- Turn your RV into a passive source of income
- You’ll need to clear your stuff out every time you rent it
Rent Your Empty Space
If you have an empty garage, closet, or anything in between, you can rent out that space to neighbors who are looking for space to store their things. Apps like Neighbor make it easy to list and find local storage space at a fraction of the cost of storage units.
- Cheaper means more demand
- Turn empty spaces into income generators
- You’re not going to make a lot of money from renting out closets
- You need to maintain access to stored stuff
Rent Your Apartment with Airbnb
Since coming to market back in 2008, Airbnb has changed the way travelers book accommodation. If you have a spare room or apartment, you can list your property on this platform and get paid for hosting people. There are several protections to help you keep safe as well as insurance cover.
- Make use of unused space to earn money
- Passive income
- Location can limit earning potential
- You have to share your space with people you don’t know
Start and Monetize a Blog
If you’re curious about starting and monetizing a blog, see the top half of this post.
Here’s a quick summary: If you enjoy a subject (for me, it’s personal finance) and you enjoy creating content, you could develop a large audience.
When you have a big audience, you can make money through affiliate marketing (referring readers) and ads.
- Doing what you enjoy.
- Blog posts can earn money for years.
- A lot of up-front work.
- Some tech skills required, although WordPress is easy enough to learn.
Answer Professional Questions
Sites like Quora or JustAnswer can pay for your expertise in response to user’s questions.
To get paid, you’ll need to prove your credentials. Quality answers tend to result in more earnings.
- Share your expertise and perspective.
- Help readers who have genuine questions.
- Earnings may not match effort.
- Competition to answer on platform.
How Can I Make More Money Online?
But what if you just want to quickly turn a profit without creating an entirely new way of life other than just selling your old stuff or taking surveys? Here are some ideas:
Become an Amazon Seller
Are you passionate about vintage vinyl, themed coffee mugs, or obscure sports team bobbleheads?
You can turn your knowledge of these or other items into cash by buying low and selling high. Amazon is an obvious place to connect with buyers so you can get your side hustle off the ground.
- Each time you make a sale, you can make a profit.
- You can sell products you care about and know a lot about.
- You’ll need a place to store inventory unless you can utilize dropshipping.
- One bad review can limit future sales.
- You’ll be in line at the post office a lot — again, you can avoid this con through dropshipping.
Now you can cut out a lot of the legwork by using Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program. You can send your products to Amazon and let the online giant store ship your sales.
Start a YouTube Channel
If you care a lot about something — whether it’s Les Paul guitars or the French fries at Five Guys — you can start creating video content about your niche and monetizing it on YouTube.
As with a blog or your Instagram feed, your passion for your topic must translate to your audience for your followers — and your revenue — to grow.
You’ll also have to set up your YouTube channel for monetization, which you can do in the user’s settings and connect to a Google Adsense account.
- Smartphones now have great video cameras.
- You can engage with others on topics you love.
- It may help to learn video editing.
- Lots of competition.
Become an Instagram Influencer
Already like Instagram? You can take it to the next level by growing your audience and then letting big brands market their products to your followers.
It’ll take some time to build a bigger base of followers, but posting great content is the first step, and if you’re already doing that, you’re well on the way.
You’ll also need to post consistently, engage with followers, and share lots of IG stories.
Just like starting a blog, growing an Instagram audience starts with having something you’re passionate about to share with your audience.
Some people even sell their Instagram accounts and followers to small business startups who need an immediate social media following.
- You’re probably already a pro on IG.
- You can engage with others on topics you love.
- Can take a while to get started from scratch.
- The competition on social media grows tougher each year.
Websites and blogs need testers, just like physical products. You can make some quick money by becoming a website tester.
You’d need to be good at recording your initial observations from the point of view of a site visitor or customer.
For most leading services like UserTesting.com, you’ll also need to pass a test to become a tester.
- You just need a web browser (desktop & mobile) — no special software.
- You can work testing into your existing daily schedule.
- By-the-job pay can limit earnings.
- Competition can be stiff.
Researchers, physicians, and even some journalists conduct lengthy, recorded interviews.
Often, they need someone to transcribe the recordings into a text file. Sites like Quicktate, Tigerfish, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk can connect your transcribing skills with business owners who need them.
If you have a special expertise or knowledge base — such as health-care or the legal profession — you could make even more.
- Make your own schedule.
- Simple but interesting work.
- A side hustle you can do from anywhere.
- Can be time consuming.
- Can be difficult depending on recording quality.
Come Up with Slogans
If you have a knack for slogans and ad campaigns, you could make some extra money on Squadhelp.
New companies and websites often need outside ideas, and they start contests on Squadhelp in order to get them.
If you’re into graphic design, you can even contribute to new company logos.
- Flex your creative muscles.
- Be a part of new, national products.
- Contest-style limits income you can earn.
How Can I Make A Living Online?
Making some extra income can be simple enough. Making a living is another matter. If you need to make a living wage from home right now, developing passive income sources may take too long.
But you can find ways to generate enough money to pay the bills and buy groceries if you’re willing to invest the time, expertise, and sometimes money. You probably won’t make a lot of money, but your hard work will pay off if you can find your niche.
Here are some common ways to get started:
Be a Virtual Assistant
If you’re good at creating reports, organizing meetings, editing letters, and taking care of details many of us can’t imagine, you could make a good virtual assistant.
Executives often like virtual assistants because they’re easier to hire than in-person assistants.
Several websites can connect you with work, including 99 Dollar Social, Zirtual, and Office 88. These companies will pay you by the hour for your work.
- Freedom to choose jobs.
- Work from home.
- Hard to build relationships.
- Work can be isolating.
Teach English Online
While English is widely spoken all over the world, for many people, it’s not their first or secondary language. This means there’s a market for teaching English for both personal and professional reasons.
You can teach English to people all over the world independently or with an existing school. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification can be a great asset in increasing your effectiveness and credibility.
- You get to meet people from all over the world
- Classes usually last 45 minutes
- You need a good grasp of grammar rules
- Most schools require certification
More and more companies need employees who work off-site — either from across town or across the country. Freelancing has become even more popular during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Depending on your profession and skillset, you could find a remote job, ranging from data entry to project managers and freelance writing.
Give Upwork a look if you’d like to connect with a variety of short-term or contract work such as writing, editing, web design, logo design, and even data analysis and customer service.
Other freelance service providers include Fiverr and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, both of which connect you with businesses that need part-time or freelance workers for specific jobs. Fiverr has a lot of voice-over audio work and SEO work. The jobs on Mechanical Turk tend to be more basic like data entry or audio transcribing.
Unfortunately, your payout on sites like these tends to be low. You’d have to choose better-paying tasks which, of course, have more competition. Mechanical Turk often pays in Amazon gift cards, although you could opt for PayPal deposits.
Be sure to start and maintain an up-to-date LinkedIn page since potential employers may be checking it out.
- Working from home makes for a short commute.
- Geography doesn’t limit your job searches.
- Can be isolating.
- Can be hard to strike a work-life balance.
- Can be hard to find well-paying work.
- Works only if you have the right skillset.
Work in Customer Service
If an all-out remote position isn’t for you, consider fielding calls for a company’s customer service department.
Earnings may not reach the level of an official remote position, but you may have more freedom to do your own thing between calls from customers.
Expect to be immersed in the company’s policies and to have your conversations monitored by supervisors. Upwork.com can also connect you with customer service opportunities.
- Flexible scheduling.
- Close supervision.
- Unpredictable schedule.
Become a Tutor
Online tutors help students of all ages excel in all sorts of subjects — from English literature to chemistry to political science.
Sites such as tutors.com and Chegg Tutors can connect you with students. You’ll need some patience, some flexibility, and a way to prove your credentials.
- Flexible, at-home work.
- Opportunity to help students.
- Pay isn’t usually impressive.
- Students can be unpredictable.
Sell a Successful Product
I also spent some time covering ecommerce up top. When you can develop a successful product such as a course or even a physical product, you can earn some real money.
The key will be creating a unique product and then convincing others to buy it.
- One product can earn passive income for years.
- You’ll own the product or service.
- Shopify and Etsy make it easier to set up an online store.
- Lots of up-front work.
- Lots of competition.
How Can I Earn Extra Cash Online?
If you’re already working every day, but you could use some extra cash, consider these ideas which you can do in your spare time:
Trading Domain Names
Domain names — .coms, .orgs, etc. — do not cost very much to buy. Yet, if you have the right to a domain name someone else wants, you can earn a profit selling the name.
You’re taking a risk that you’ll never sell the domain names you buy, but if you can sell even one, it’ll be worthwhile. If you’re not a proofreading freelancer but would still like to earn extra money online, this could be your niche.
- Not much up-front money required.
- Not much work involved.
- No guarantee of profit.
- Potential for losses.
Invest in P2P
Becoming an investor in a peer-to-peer lending service like Lending Club means you’re acting like a bank — providing the capital borrowers need.
In return, you can earn when borrowers repay their loans with interest. Ideally, the interest rates you make will outpace the rates you can get in an online savings account. But you could also lose money if the borrower doesn’t pay off the loan.
- Not labor intensive.
- Potential for solid earnings.
- Potential for loss if a borrower doesn’t repay.
- Some research required before funding a loan.
Sell Stock Photos
Graphic designers need stock photos when they make brochures, websites, and advertisements.
You can provide just the right photo and earn a profit through services like istockphoto, Adobe, Getty Images, or Shutterstock.
- One photo can be sold multiple times.
- Can be fun if you enjoy photography.
- Competition has made it more difficult to sell photos.
- High volume of photos required for significant earnings.
Maximize Rebate Shopping
I mentioned Rakuten above. You can find other ways to claim rebates on your usual shopping.
Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Receipt Hog help you earn rebates when you shop for groceries and other retail products. You won’t get rich, but you can make enough for movie tickets or someone special’s birthday present.
- Easy to work into your shopping routine.
- Extra cash only; not a significant source of money.
Start and Monetize a Podcast
It seems like everybody has a podcast these days. If you start a podcast that attracts enough listeners, you could sell ad time.
Last year the website Podcast Insights reported the number of podcasts has surpassed 1 million. This means you’ll have fierce competition for listeners.
But if you have a unique message to share, why not join the crowd?
- Can be fun.
- Won’t earn money unless you have a built-in audience already.
- You’ll need to know at least something about recording audio.
- The best podcasts require work upfront.
More Ways to Make Money Online
Sell Old Tech
Gadgets such as smartphones and tablets can easily be resold on the secondhand market, especially if you upgrade every year or two. Furthermore, rare earth elements are used in the manufacturing process, which means that even if your old iPhone won’t turn on, it could still be worth something.
- Turn old gadgets into hard cold cash
- More likely they’ll be recycled or reused
- Not a sustainable way of making money
Invest in Art
Making money from art isn’t just for artists. Apps like Masterworks allow you to invest in blue-chip and well-established artists and works of art.
You can request an invitation through their website, but you will need some capital to get started.
- Investing in art can be very fulfilling
- Blue-chip artwork tends to return big dividends
- You need a healthy amount of capital
- There is an amount of risk in any investment
Proofreaders check other people’s work making sure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. You need a good command of the language you’re proofreading in as well as a good grasp of grammar rules.
- You can work from anywhere
- You’re free to set your own working hours and rates
- Can take a while to build a client base
- Tight deadlines
Product testing is just as it sounds. It is when companies that are in the process of launching new products look for testers to gather feedback on their upcoming launch.
In most cases, you get to keep the product while some companies offer monetary compensation for the feedback you provide.
- Get early access to upcoming products
- Pay is not guaranteed
Sell on eBay
eBay is the go-to marketplace for buyers all over the world. You can sell pretty much anything on eBay, and the potential market is huge. This means that if you play your cards right, you can grow your eBay selling business as much as you’d like.
- Visitors from all over the world
- You can sell pretty much anything
- Lots of competition
Become a Ghostwriter
Ghostwriters write a variety of texts for other people. From simple blog posts to entire books, ghostwriters sign over the rights of their creations to their customers whose name will often appear as the author of the text.
- You get to work on a variety of projects
- Very flexible in terms of time and place
- Mostly freelance work – so there can be a lack of stability
- You may need to work to tight deadlines
Monetize Traffic with Google Adsense
Google Adsense is an advertising program run by Google. It works best on websites and blogs, but you can also use it on apps and other internet publications. You need to sign up for Google Adsense and enter the code they provide to show ads on your website for which you get paid.
- Ability to make considerable amounts of money
- A lot of flexibility
- You need to attract a lot of visitors
- Google can change the rules and cut you off
Launch a Startup
Startups are one of the most fun ways to make money online. You can launch an online business over a weekend. To get started, you’ll need a business idea and a solid business plan that details every step of the way. Take the time to understand the industry you are in and network as much as you can to make the contacts you’ll inevitably need down the line.
- A startup can quickly become your full-time job
- Lots of room to experiment
- Startups need to be well managed to not go bust
- You will need to wear many hats until you afford to hire people
Write and Sell Apps
Apps are all the rage, with many businesses looking to develop their own apps. Basic apps are not super hard to develop and can be done with a bit of development training, which you can do online. Investing in programming skills can open other doors for you, including as a freelancer.
- Many businesses looking for apps
- No resources required either than a laptop and internet connectivity
- There’s a lot of competition
- If you’re new to app development, language can take some time to master
Sell Freelance Services
Freelance platforms are the go-to place for many individuals and businesses who need help with a wide variety of tasks. From Administration and accounting to engineering, development, freelance writing, and everything in between, many of the jobs available today can easily be freelanced.
- Wide variety of freelance jobs available
- A lot of flexibility and room to grow
- Competition is stiff unless its a very niche service
- You have to spend time finding clients and developing your business
Become a Consultant
If you have a deep grasp of a subject, you can become a consultant helping businesses and individuals with the challenges they are facing. To become a successful consultant, you’ll need to have appropriate certifications and experience. This will allow you to be more effective in your consultancy role.
- Very good pay
- Use your experience to help others
- There can be quite a bit of pressure
- Hours can be long
Start an Online Coaching Business
Coaches help people in a variety of citations, with business coaching and life coaching being two of the most common ones. You can add a reputable certification to your CV to increase your credibility with your target market.
- Gives you the opportunity to help people
- Coaching can be very flexible and fun
- Getting your first client can be challenging
Create and Sell Online Courses
Education in both formal and informal settings is a big business that is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Platforms like Udemy allow just about anyone with the know-how of a particular subject to upload their own courses with an internal review and auditing process, making sure everything is as it should be.
- Can provide you with residual income
- Can prove to be life-changing for people who want to learn what you have to offer
- A considerable amount of setup work
- No income till the course is finished, and customers start pouring in
Not everyone has the time to read books, which is why audiobooks are so great. While big publishers might have their own teams or even hire actors, independent book publishers will try to tap the freelance market to get their audiobook narrated.
- Lots of flexibility
- Read different stories and play out different characters
- You will need good quality recording equipment
- Recording environment needs to be set up right
Self-Publish a Book
Writing a book is a dream for many. Kindle and iBooks now make it possible to self-publish your own book, doing away with many of the difficulties associated with traditional publishing. You might want to outsource proofreading and illustrations, although this might not be necessary.
- You can write whenever you want
- No capital required
- Income is typically slow
- You will need to do all of the marketing
Join Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk, also known as MTurk, is a marketplace for microtasks that include image and video processing, data verification and clean-up, information gathering, and data processing. Unlike other platforms, you do not set your own prices, but you can choose the tasks you work on.
- Simple tasks you can complete anytime
- A lot of flexibility
- You cannot set your own prices
- Pay is quite low
Sell in Niche Marketplaces
Niche marketplaces are great for freelancers who specialize in certain skillsets. These marketplaces tend to allow for higher prices as buyers looking for your skills are there for exactly just that. 99Designs, Cloudpeeps, and Gigster are some of the niche marketplaces where you can sell your freelancer services.
- You can charge what you’re worth
- Build a brand for yourself
- Buyers looking for a range of services might look elsewhere
- Cannot advertise more than one skill
Become a Graphic Designer
If you’re in touch with your creative side and have an eye for good design, there’s plenty of opportunities to earn money as a graphics designer. Look for local businesses with a bad design language and make sure you build a strong portfolio to help you close new sales.
- Graphic design tools are increasingly easy to use
- You can choose your own hours and rates
- Professional tools can be somewhat expensive
- Competition can make it difficult to break through
Make and Sell Products on Etsy
Etsy is the go-to marketplace for handmade stuff – from jewelry to bags, furniture, and everything in between. If you’re good at crafting goods, you can sell your own creations. Extra points if using sustainable materials and methods of production.
- Great for selling items you make yourself
- Etsy is a popular platform
- There is a listing fee for each item you upload
- Etsy takes a commission on your sales
Sell Art Online
If you’re quite artistic, making extra cash selling your own art can be quite fulfilling. There are a few online marketplaces dedicated to artists such as Society6 that offer free sign-ups. You can also design a range of products such as bags, t-shirts, mugs, etc.
- Being an artist can feel quite fulfilling
- You can work whenever is best for you
- Art can be very subjective
- The commission can be quite high
Sell On a Commission-Only Basis
When selling on a commission-only basis, you will not get a regular salary but a percentage of each sale you close. The percentage might be higher than what a normal sales job would pay, but you will need to close more sales to make a decent enough amount of money.
- Commission rates are usually higher
- A lot of flexibility
- No guaranteed money for your work
- You need to continuously look for new prospects
Become a Journalist
How the world consumes news is ever-changing, moving from traditional media such as newspapers to online. While this hasn’t been great news for newspapers, it does make journalism more of a level playing field. You can publish with an existing newspaper, your own website, or platforms such as Medium.
- A chance to do truly meaningful work
- You’re always learning new things
- Can be quite stressful
- Days can be quite long
Become an Online Accountant
Whether its helping people with their taxes or small businesses with their day-to-day accounting, independent and freelance accountant can find a lot of different areas to specialize in.
- Businesses will always need accountants
- There are opportunities for specializations
- You need to meet state requirements to become a certified accountant
- There’s typically a lot of deadlines that need to be met
Sell Whitelabel Solutions
Whitelabel solutions are products and services that have been de-branded. You can label and brand them as your own. With all development and support undertaken by the company that developed the solution, you just need to take care of marketing, sales, and support.
- The solution is already developed
- In most cases, you get support from the company that owns the product
- You do not have control over the product
- If the company goes bankrupt there isn’t much you can do
Odd Jobs on Taskrabbit
With Taskrabbit, you can do chores for other people who do not have the time or the ability to do them themselves. You can make a decent amount of money with some people opting to do this full-time.
- You set your own rates
- You can pick and choose your availability
- Manual labor might be required for certain tasks
- You’ll need to attend a local onboarding session
Become a Travel Advisor
If you have experience traveling to exotic places, you can turn what you know into a business, helping people navigate their way around and making sure they stay safe. Combine this with a flair for finding the cheapest deals, and you can start advising people on their next holiday or business trip.
- Taps into your passion for traveling
- You can work from anywhere
- You might need to take calls and requests at odd hours
- The market can be quite a niche
Optimize Search Engine Results
Search engines use algorithms to sort information and determine how you see the results of your queries. Although these algorithms can be quite advanced and complex, they don’t always get it right, which is why you’ll find jobs on platforms like Appen and Lionbridge to provide feedback on search engine results.
- If you’re looking at getting into SEO, this could be a great start
- Every company needs SEO so it’s a great skill to have
- There’s an application process to get in
- The work itself can be quite repetitive
A good review goes a long way in helping customers decide if they should buy a particular product or not. You can make money writing reviews for platforms like Vindale and Software Judge. Do take the time to read the terms and conditions as income isn’t always guaranteed.
- You get to share your opinions, and sometimes frustrations
- Trying new things becomes part of your job
- Payment isn’t guaranteed
- Might be too much effort for the money you’ll make
Many companies are outsourcing their data entry tasks to freelancing platforms since they can be done from anywhere. If you have an eye for detail and can type reasonably fast, you can easily make money by entering data.
- Relatively easy to do
- You can do it in your spare time
- Can be a bit repetitive
- Pay isn’t always the best
Essays, such as those required for college admissions, are a big thing as they can mean the difference between being accepted to a particular school or not. This is why people look for online essay editors who can provide them with feedback and help them put their best foot forward.
- Help students produce their best work
- You need to have an understanding of the subject matter to provide valuable feedback
Sell a Teaching Plan
New teachers often look for tried and tested teaching plans that can help them do their job more efficiently. Through platforms such as Teachers Pay Teachers, you can sell your teaching materials on a variety of subjects
- Make money from your hard work over the years
- Help new teachers settle in
- The material might need to be updated
Run Someone Else’s Social Media Accounts
Many individuals don’t have time to maintain their social media pages, which tend to take quite a bit of upkeep. This is why they look to freelancing platforms to hire social media gurus that can make sure their pages remain updated and relevant.
- You get to do something pretty cool (post on social media, engage with followers, organize competitions)
- Can be quite time consuming
- You may need to work 24/7 as social media never sleeps
Become a Dating Consultant
Many people experience difficulties when it comes to dating, which is the sort of thing a dating consultant can help with. If you have certification and understand how relationships work, platforms like Relationship Hero can help you make money helping other people out.
- You get to help people out with their struggles
- Can be a lengthy and intensive process
Data is fast becoming one of the most valuable assets companies hold. To make the most out of it, it needs to be analyzed and turned into useful information, which is where data analysts come in. You will need to be good with numbers and statistics with a relevant degree, often being one of the requirements for landing a gig as a data analyst.
- It’s a growing field
- Work offers a rewarding challenge
- Data analysis is in constant evolution
Online Fitness Trainer
While fitness classes used to be held exclusively in gyms, this is no longer the case. With many people choosing to work out from home, online fitness trainers are helping people get into the best shape of their life without ever leaving their homes. You’ll need to have dedicated space for working out, and more often than not, you have to work around the clients’ schedules.
- You get to help people be in the best shape of their life
- You will be in the best shape of your life
- The job can be physically demanding
- You may have to work around clients’ schedules
Make and Sell Songs
You can sell your musical compositions to customers in the music industry using sites like Soundbetter. You can also license music you’ve composed to video makers, and TV show /movie producers using platforms such as Songfreedom and Musicbed.
- You might get to see your score make it to the silver screen
- Loads of competition means you need to work hard to stand out
Start an Agency
If you’ve been freelancing for a while, chances are you have met other freelancers who complement your practice. Get everyone together, and you could be on your way to open an agency and be able to cross-sell services for even more profits.
- Makes it easier to retain customers
- Cross-selling opportunities means more profits
- Increases the overheads
- More administrative duties
Video has proved to be one of the best marketing strategies when it comes to engagement, but professional-looking videos are not so easily done. If you can edit videos to make them more vibrant and eye-catching, editing videos could very well be the thing for you.
- Flexible work where you get to set your own schedule
- There is a lot of competition
- You’ll need to teach yourself how to do it, and it may take some time to get good at it
Buy an Existing Website
Websites that generate a lot of traffic can be monetized in many different ways, which is why they can cost the big bucks. If you have the capital for it, you can buy a website that already has traffic and monetize it, skipping the often most difficult bit of getting a new website off the ground.
- Different ways to monetize a website with existing traffic
- You need to have the capital to buy the website
Workshops are becoming a big thing hosting anything from team-building activities to information and coaching sessions. Videoconferencing technology makes it easier than ever before to run workshops online, keeping the entire thing remote and online.
- Plenty of different workshops to run
- You can work on something you’re interested in/ good at
- Can be done 100% online
- You’ll have to accommodate the client’s schedule
Commercials, feature films, youtube videos, and everything in between rely on voice-overs for narration, effects, and communications. With so many video editors taking the freelance route, it makes sense for voice-over opportunities to crop up in freelance marketplaces too.
- Flexible and fun
- Can be a great side hustle
- Some projects will have tight deadlines
Host Webinars on a Topic You Know Well
If you’re selling products or services, webinars can be a great way to get the message out. Webinars can be especially useful if you’re selling B2B (Business to Business) – just make sure you reach out to the right business owners and take the time to polish your sales pitch for maximum effect.
- Gives you the opportunity to interact with many people at once
- Can be quite lucrative, depending on the topic
- You might need to invest in good teleconferencing equipment
Start an eCommerce Website
While there are many sites where you can sell your wares, setting up your own eCommerce website can help you retain control over the traffic your store generates and the customer experience. Hosting providers such as Bluehost provide dedicated plans to keep your site fast. Having your own site can also provide you with different ways to optimize your sales funnel and traffic monetization strategies.
- Retain a greater degree of control
- Opportunities to optimize sales funnel
- More expensive than using an existing marketplace
- You need to work at getting traffic
Create How-to Videos
The DIY market is a sizeable one with many people resorting to doing things themselves – from brewing beer to installing new bathrooms. Tap into the market by creating how-to videos that explain how-to processes in detail. Monetize by placing adverts or selling relevant products.
- The job allows for a high degree of flexibility
- Finding the right monetization strategy can take some time
Marketing is more relevant today than ever before, but not many companies do it right. This is especially true for startups who might struggle to get the right people in place due to budgetary constraints. This is where marketing consultants come in, offering their expertise to help such companies get their marketing efforts off the ground.
- You get to work with a lot of exciting companies
- There is a lot of competition, so you’ll need to differentiate a lot
Rent Out Your Camera Kit
If you have a camera kit that’s spending more time in the closet than snapping pictures, you could start making some passive income by renting it out. KitSplit is one such marketplace with thousands of users looking to rent camera equipment, including cameras and lenses.
- Can be a source of passive income
- You need to pay for insurance separately
Become an Affiliate
Becoming an affiliate can be quite an exciting job. You do not have to purchase stock or offer any services yourself; instead, you attract traffic and then pass it on to the affiliate company for a percentage of the sale your traffic makes.
You’ll also find loads of different affiliate programs to join – from casinos to software to books.
- You can make a lot of money by becoming an affiliate
- It will take some time to build traffic and start making money
Customer reactivation is one of the most cost-effective ways companies can make sales. It involves reaching out to old customers, offering them new products and offers to ‘reactivate’ them.
There are many ways to do this, including email marketing, retargeting campaigns, and others.
- It can be easy to justify your services to cash-strapped companies
- You will most likely have to reach some targets
Curate a Niche Website
Niche websites tend to attract some of the most loyal, die-hard visitors out there. You’ll need to be passionate about the subject with a deep understanding to make sure you give your visitors value. Make sure you choose an eye-catching domain name and monetize traffic by selling relevant items, services, or display ads throughout the website.
- Visitors tend to be loyal
- Traffic belongs to you
- Identifying a strong enough niche can be challenging
Rent Your Clothes
We don’t usually see clothes as an investment we make to earn money, but thanks to websites such as RentNotBuy.com and Loanables.com, you can start making money from what’s lying inside your wardrobe.
- Renting out clothes can be a passive revenue stream
- You’ll have to clean your clothes more often
Books can be a great source of information that inspires and informs us. From self-help to history to literature and everything in between, many people look for books to keep themselves entertained and informed.
Want to clear out some books for new ones? Check-out DeCluttr and Amazon Trade-In to get started.
- Make money selling books you no longer need
- Not a sustainable source of income
Trading jewelry can make you a nice sum of money if you can spot bargains and valuable pieces. Many websites, such as CashforGoldUSA and Worthy, buy old jewelry. Get multiple quotes for your pieces to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
- Most websites offer instant quotes
- You’ll need to go bargain-hunting which can be time-consuming
Write on Medium
Medium is a great publishing site that allows anyone to post articles and essays. It also has a partner program that can see you get paid for the content you upload. Payment depends on the reads and interactions your content generates but if you like writing it could be worth giving it a shot
- Build your audience and fan base while earning money
- Can take a bit of time to start seeing payments coming through
Guest posting can be a great SEO tool that bloggers and marketers use to get higher positions in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). As the old saying goes, content is king making this a potential goldmine, especially if you specialize in a niche category.
- Make money writing about your favorite subjects
- The market can be quite competitive
Start a Clothing Business
The clothing market is filled with companies trying to take their share of the market but this those not mean there aren’t any missed opportunities. If you’re artistic, you could design your own line of clothes or if sustainability is something you hold close to your hard, the circular economy could be your point of focus.
- People will always need to buy clothes
- Finding a strong enough differentiator can be hard work
From helping local companies increase their exposure to helping companies set up shop in your local area, local consulting can not only help you make money but also make your local area thrive. You can specialize in things such as local SEO, logistics, supplies, or anything in between. You can also act as a one-stop-shop.
- Help your local area economically thrive
- Market is limited to your local area
Sell on Shopify
Shopify makes it super easy to open an online store and start selling to millions of potential customers. It comes with built-in tools to give your business every chance of success including marketing tools, insights, and even a POS (Point of Sale) system.
- Comes with a free trial
- There’s a monthly fee and commission structure for payments
Run Email Marketing Campaigns
Email still remains one of the most effective marketing strategies businesses all over the world use to reach out to the customers. Getting it right is not always easy which can make it easier for you to sign-up clients. You can also use a freelancing platform to reach out to businesses all over the world.
- It’s easy to judge performance to improve your efforts
- You might need to outsource design and copywriting adding to your costs
- You’ll need a client list – a list of people to send your marketing to
Become a Social Media Specialist
Many businesses rely on social media to communicate with their customers with online platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter being some of the more popular choices. Managing social media takes time and requires an understanding of the platform and target audience to make it work. As a freelance social media specialist, you could be helping businesses making the most out of the platforms they use – and it’s all done online.
- Spend time on your favorite social media platforms
- You get to work with influencers to spread the message
- Mistakes tend to go viral very quickly
- You need to keep yourself constantly updated with trends and new features
Become a Style Advisor
As a style advisor, you’ll be advising clients on matters of style – from helping professionals update their wardrobes to people looking to update their looks. You’ll need to stay updated with fashion trends and have an understanding of what suits different body shapes and lifestyles to keep customers happy.
- You get to work with stylists and fashionistas
- It’s a limited market so you will not be able to grow exponentially
Land a Gig as an Online Juror
Lawyers with upcoming court cases use e-jurors for feedback and mock trials. Pay will largely depend on the duration of the job. There are usually some requirements that need to be fulfilled including not being a convicted felon and not being under indictment among others. Do watch out for scams as they are known to pop up every now and again.
- You get to participate in mock trials
- The pay might not always equal the effort put in
With dropshipping, you do not have to hold any stock. Instead, you redirect customers to the manufacturer’s website and earn a commission on any purchases done. With stock being one of the biggest challenges and overheads eCommerce websites face, you get the best of both world but you won’t make as much money as selling the products yourself
- Returns and complaints are dealt with by the manufacturer
- Not as much money as selling yourself
Rent Your Car
If your car is sitting idle some or most of the time, you could put it to work to earn you some money on the side. Apps like Turo let you share your car with drivers who are prescreened by Turo. You’re also covered by a liability insurance policy, but if you have your own you can earn even more money
- Set your own availability and pricing
- Great way to cover car payments
- Your car might not be available in an emergency
- Earning potential is quite low
Work as a Beauty Advisor
Make-up and beauty products are big businesses. While most people are perfectly capable of applying products, the advice of a professional can make a huge difference. Beauty advisors advise on which type of products are suited best for the person according to their complexion and other factors.
- When you reach a strong enough customer base you can get sponsorships for free products
- You can’t have a bad hair day
A lead is someone who has shown an active interest in buying a product that a company is selling. Leads are a business’ bread and butter and they can cost a lot of money. If you manage to generate leads (through your website, email signups, or webinar signups) you can pass them off to an interested company who in most cases is willing to pay top dollar for that person’s contact information.
- Leads can be quite expensive which means you can make a lot of money
- Everything needs to be stated clearly to abide by privacy and other applicable laws
If you still have notes from school or college there are marketplaces where you can put them up for sale. Notes need to be current and relevant and you will get paid every time a student downloads your notes.
Notes need to be clear and legible so you might have to retype everything if you take notes as fast as the professor speaks.
- Make money helping students ace their exams
- You get to declutter your drawers
- Notes are only valid for as long as the syllabus remains the same
Start an Online Cake and Baking Business
Fancy cakes and cupcakes are perfect for special occasions – the more elaborate the cake the more money it fetches. Due to their nature cakes are sold all year round and repeat business is guaranteed if you hit the customer’s sweet tooth in the right spot. You will need to make sure you abide by all food safety laws and regulations.
- Repeat business is almost guaranteed
- If you love baking, you’ll love your job
- Your home will always smell good
- You need to make sure you abide by food safety laws at all times
- You’ll need to get good at running a business
Create a Subscription Box Business
Subscriptions boxes are curated boxes sold on a subscription basis. This means that each customer will purchase a number of boxes that are typically sent out once a month. You can curate anything from whiskeys to clothes to art and anything in between. The cost of the subscription should be lower than if the customer were to purchase everything themselves so good bargain-hunting skills are a must.
- You get to curate items you love
- Repeat customers are guaranteed
- Providing value on a consistent basis can be challenging
- You need to coordinate all of the incoming and outgoing shipping
Ways to Make Money with Online Apps
The following ways to make money are not necessarily all done online. You can use an online platform to find these jobs to make money and earn thru the online site or app and will require some physical work on your behalf.
Apps like Sweatcoin earn you money for walking instead of taking the car or public transport. You’ll need to reach targets consistently to earn points that you can exchange for gifts and discounts. You will not only be helping your finances but your fitness level as well.
- Get fit while making money
- Save money on fuel
- Takes a lot of walking to earn something
- Unfavorable weather might make it impossible to walk
When people need to go away and can’t take their pets with them, the services of a pet sitter can be a life-saver. If you enjoy looking after different kinds of pets, this might be one of the most fun ways to make money using websites like Rover.
- Spend time with man’s best friends
- Not a lot of work involved
- If you’re hosting you need to make sure pets are allowed
If you cannot have pets staying over, dog walking can help you combine exercise with making money while still spending time with furry friends. You can even combine a few clients to make more money per hour – just be sure you can handle multiple dogs at once.
- Combines walking with making money
- Walk multiple pooches to make more dollars per hour
- You’ll have to clean up after the dogs
Take Care of the Elderly
The elderly can be some of the most vulnerable people in our society and need care and attention to help them stay safe. Platforms like care.com match care professionals with elderly who are in need.
- You get to take care of people in need
- Certification is required
- Some traveling may be required
Take Care of Children
From babysitting to becoming a nanny, childminding can be a very rewarding experience. You can advertise your services on websites like Craigslist or joining purposefully-built marketplaces such as care.com.
- The job allows for a lot of creativity
- Perfect for some extra income
- Traveling might be required
Live a Healthy Life / Lose Weight
Want to earn money just by losing weight? HealthyWage allows you to earn cash by achieving your personal health goals – the ULTIMATE motivation!
Set your weight loss goal. You choose how much you want to lose and the timeline which you’d like to lose it. Next, answer a few additional questions and their calculator will reveal your prize.
If you hit your goal at the end of your challenge, you win your prize!
- Free money if you’re commit to losing weight.
- You can join team challenges to compete with others.
- You may need to set lofty goals for the most cash, $10,000.
My Story Making Money Online
The best thing about making money online is that it typically requires so little overhead – you don’t need an office, you don’t need a garage full of products, you don’t even need to get off the couch in some cases.
But while it’s flexible, it’s also a ton of work and actually pretty tough. And while there are a ton of ways to make money online, they all tend to fall into these three categories:
- Building a website and monetizing your content.
- Selling other people’s products or services.
- Launching your own product or service.
Let’s go through these one by one.
1. Build a Website and Monetize Your Content
I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you – it takes time to make money on a website. Usually, it takes a lot of time.
The Story of Millennial Money
I spent at least 500 hours building and writing content for Millennial Money before I made my first dollar. I did it because I loved it. You really gotta love it to put in the time.
Ninety percent of the blogs I see these days last less than six months – people just burn out. It’s easy to burn out when your blog doesn’t have any traffic and makes no money.
Millennial Money was launched in 2015, and after building hundreds of websites for other people, this is the first one I’ve built for myself.
Doing What You Love: It Matters
Interestingly, I launched Millennial Money because I love to write as much as I love side hustling, making money, and investing.
I knew it was possible to make money as a blogger, but making money wasn’t my primary motivation. Like many people, I live an insanely busy life, and blogging about money is a way for me to reflect and disconnect.
I’d wanted to launch my own website since 2010, but it took me five years to find the time to actually do it.
Sure, I was pretty busy between 2010 and 2015, trying to make as much money as possible and pursue financial independence.
But by 2015, I had enough money in the bank to make working optional. I decided to launch Millennial Money to share my story and strategies to become a millennial millionaire.
While I was very intentional about how I built all of the pieces of this website, I didn’t have any massive expectations for traffic or revenue. It took me three months to get to 1,000 total visitors, and I was so pumped to hit that goal. I just kept writing and writing and writing.
Now I average more than 200,000 unique visitors a month.
My mind is completely blown. I never imagined this was possible. I didn’t have any crazy goals back then. I just wanted to write. While I was excited to share my ideas with the world, I never had any expectations people would read them.
Turning Traffic Into Money
One of the most common questions I get from readers, friends, family (and really anyone I tell about Millennial Money) is, “How much money do you make on your website?”
The answer is that a successful website makes money through its connections as well as from its traffic.
I spend about 10 to 20 hours a week on the blog, so earning thousands of dollars is a great return on my time, and blogging is one of my favorite things to do in the world, so it’s a win-win.
But I also write books and manage two other companies, and I have a number of other income streams – so I don’t have as much time to put into blogging as I would like.
But I do know there is a direct correlation between the amount of time I spend writing and optimizing posts and the amount of money the blog can make. So my effective hourly rate over time should continue to go up the more time I spend on the blog.
Affiliate Marketing Can Diversify Income
When you review a product or service on your blog, you’re helping your readers decide whether they should try the product. When sharing your time and experience helps the reader decide to try the service, you can get compensated through affiliate marketing.
Let’s say you reviewed one of your favorite books on your blog. You could get an affiliate link to the book on Amazon or another site. If the reader clicks the link and buys the book, you’ll get a commission. A lot of new bloggers start out with an Amazon affiliate marketing account because it’s easy to set up.
I recommend linking to products through affiliate programs only if you believe in the product and have tried it yourself. You want your blog to be a reputable source of info and not just a way to make a few dollars.
Successful affiliate marketing depends a lot more on getting enough traffic than it depends on collecting enough affiliate programs. I know some people who make $100,000 or more per month blogging, so there are definitely some growth opportunities!
Click here to learn more about how to start a blog.
How Much Traffic Do You Need to Make Money Online?
Making money through affiliate programs or selling your own products is all about traffic, but a big mistake that many people make is they focus on quantity instead of quality. The higher the quality of your website traffic, the more money you will make – period!
This is why a lot of paid advertisements don’t work – because they are cold traffic. If someone sees an ad for your product on Facebook, you are probably targeting them because they’ve never heard of you or your product before.
You can’t expect this person to then turn around and buy something.
2. Selling Other People’s Products or Services
Over the past seven years, I’ve helped sell over 50 different types of products online by providing marketing services.
I’ve marketed and sold so many things for people online, including master’s degrees for universities, headphones, travel experiences, hats, sports memorabilia, prefabricated homes, insurance, legal services, real estate services, dental services, and even supplements.
In all of these cases, I was getting paid by someone else to sell their products online – none of these were my websites or my products.
In almost all of these cases, I was paid for my time, but in a few cases, I was compensated based on the results.
How To Make Bank Selling Stuff
This is when you can really make bank: By getting part of the money you help someone else make. It’s the win-win of consulting; all you invest is your time. The more profit you create, the more money you can make.
In a few cases, like with the headphones company, I was able to maximize my value by negotiating a deal where I got paid based on the amount of profit I was able to drive – which with this one client was insane.
I got 20 percent of the profit I drove that was directly attributable to the digital marketing campaigns that I was running.
I knew that I was going to crush it, so I spent extra time up front making sure my contract covered a ton of scenarios.
While I tried to make the case, which was true, that my strategy would help increase sales over at least the next 2+ years, the owner of the company would only sign on for six months.
And you know what happened? Yup, I crushed it and ended up selling over $2.5 million in headphones in that six-month period for the owner.
My cut of the profit was $200,000. Not bad for six months of work that didn’t really take much time.
Avoiding My Rookie Mistakes
Unfortunately, even though I crushed it for him, the owner did not renew my contract. He thought he could do what I was doing. I was so pissed.
I’d made a rookie mistake: When I was excited one day, I showed the owner how part of the campaigns worked.
Over the following months, I kept a close eye on what he was doing, and it was easy for me to see he was messing up the paid campaigns I had built. But he was still clearly making a ton of money.
The search engine optimization (SEO) work to help him rank higher on Google for a number of popular searches ended up helping him for a long time, until his website one day disappeared.
I estimate the work I did for him made him at least $5 million, but I still made a little over $200,000. Still a super solid return on my time!
If you want to learn more, check out my post on how to launch a consulting business.
3. Launch Your Own Product or Service
Last but not least, you can make money online by launching your own product or service. It’s never been easier to launch an online business and reach people with your product.
This creates an awesome opportunity, but you’re not alone out there, so it’s really hard to stand out.
While it’s definitely possible to make money selling your own products on Craigslist or your own site, it’s not as easy as many Facebook ads indicate.
Sure, you can get lucky and launch an Etsy product that blows up, but in most cases, you’ll need to spend a ton of time building an audience and organically expanding your online visibility.
There are very few overnight successes.
My Personal Experience
I launched my own online marketing agency in 2010, but I didn’t launch a real online product until a couple years ago (Millennial Money Course).
I had a phenomenal 5-figure launch the first few days (and we launched on a holiday weekend because we wanted to control the sign ups).
Putting together the course was an insane amount of work, but the best thing about creating a digital product is that you create it only once. Then you can keep selling it.
Every time your pdf or audio files get a hit, you can clear cash. You get a lot more return on your time investment compared to freelance writers or other work that pays once.
Some people, like my fellow personal finance blogger Michelle, absolutely kill it selling online courses – Michelle makes over $100,000 a month on her course! Insane.
How To Build Your Product
If you want to build a product, make sure you’re selling something people will want to buy.
A great way to do this is by analyzing Google search volumes using the free Google Keyword Planner to see how many people are searching for what you want to sell.
This tool also shows how competitive the keyword is by showing how many people are bidding on it. This can help you assess your competition.
A word of caution: To make money, your product or service needs to be unique.
So many people reach out to me about their new products. About 99 percent of the time, they’re creating a copy of someone else’s product. Either the course is the same, or the app is the same, or the physical product is the same.
This is a surefire way to fail.
Before you launch any product, spend at least 10 to 20 hours online researching other similar products and figure out what makes yours unique and why someone should buy it from you.
And then sell it! If you can’t describe what makes your product unique or valuable, then it probably won’t sell online.
Be Careful! It’s Not Easy Making Money Using Facebook and Google Ads
I’ve been running Google ad campaigns for the past decade-plus. I’ve been running Facebook ads since they were created.
I can say without a doubt: It’s not easy to make money running these ads! There’s no secret system to make money on Facebook ads without having an insanely awesome product or maybe a service.
Just about every day I see at least seven or eight new ads on Facebook for tutorials on how to make money online.
Since I study models for making money online, I click on some of them — just to check out how others are turning clicks into money.
The vast majority of these tutorials are crap. The formula is simple and usually the same:
- You sign up for a free webinar where the expert will share all of his or her secrets with you.
- After the hour or two watching the webinar, you don’t know much you didn’t already know. There is rarely anything of substantive value.
- Then the person asks you to make some form of a purchase – usually a subscription, a private consultation, or some form of course — that the expert claims will actually share the secrets.
As you can see, these are just elaborate sales pitches – just by signing up, you’ve already given the person your email. And your address is insanely valuable since the expert can now start emailing you immediately to sell you the next webinar.
Let me be clear: There is some real value being shared, and some legitimate people really are making money online, but these are rare. In most cases, the expert is making money by promising to help you make money.
I’m not here to dissuade you from buying these products. I’m just saying I’ve sat through two or three of these webinars each month over the past few months, and all of them were crap.
If you want to go deeper and explore models for making money online, some of the best books I’ve read are:
Bottom Line: Making Real Money Online Isn’t Easy
You’ll come across a lot of make-money-easy-and-fast pitches online (and offline, too). Some of these are scams; others just won’t create enough extra income to make them worth your valuable time.
I have been honest in this post about the difficulties you will face as you try to learn how to make money online.
The most important ingredient will be persistence. And to succeed with persistence, it helps a lot to enjoy what you’re doing.
So as you decide which approach to take, ask yourself if you’ll be able to continue putting in the work week after week, month after month, year after year.
If you can, you’re more likely to be on the right track to long-term success earning money online.