People always daydream about quitting their job.
They imagine a life where they can create their own schedules, and work from home in their pajamas.
Fortunately, making money online is more possible today than ever before.
There’s an abundance of ways, it’s just about discovering them and seeing what works for you.
And as long as you’ve got a strong internet connection, there’s no reason you can’t do it.
The web is also a place where you can learn anything.
There are so many resources available in every topic that you can teach yourself. It’s more effective than a traditional school.
Most people think of making money online as a way to get rich quick.
And that’s partly because of all the ads that you may have seen with scammers trying to sell you on that dream.
In reality, making money online takes persistence and a lot of time and effort. In my opinion it’s tougher than making money offline.
There’s a reason most people don’t know about it.
It takes a lot of researching, testing, experimenting, and failing before you finally see success with anything.
The majority of people will learn about it, try it out for a week or two, not see results, and then chalk it up as a myth.
Your mentality plays a large part in your success rate here. If you’re serious about it, and are committed to making it work no matter what, you’ll likely see at least some form of success.
Ways to make money online
There are a couple of things you need to decide on when searching for online work.
The first is realizing your vision.
Do you see yourself working online to only earn a small side income? Or do you want it to become your full-time jobs?
It all depends on you.
Second, you must decide on how much time, commitment, skill, and persistence your willing to dedicate to it. Carve out a schedule, write your goals down, and try not to give up!
Having that noted down, let’s dive in to the various ways you could be making money online.
1. Use apps like Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars
With apps like Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars, you can actually make some decent pocket money.
With Swagbucks, it’s free to sign up so nothing will come out of your pocket getting started.
You can earn money in form of “Swagbucks”, which you can redeem for real money via Paypal.
You can also choose to receive gift cards from 140 different brands including Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks.
It’s also relatively easy to earn money. You can decide on doing surveys, watching videos, shopping online, writing company reviews and searching the web.
Keep in mind though, earning money through this site takes a bit of time and persistence, and you have to almost constantly be using it to build up your dollars.
If you’re still on the fence about using Swagbucks, check out this post by the Penny Hoarder on how one of their staff earned $25 in one night.
Click here to sign up and get started!
Like Swagbucks, Inboxdollars is a platform that allows you to make money through doing simple tasks like taking surveys, watching videos, and reading emails.
They also partner with similar brands including Walmart, Netflix, and H&R Block. Again, it’s not a fast way to make cash.
You can likely earn $30 in 4-5 weeks but if you’re looking for some small pocket money, this is certainly an excellent gig.
Click here to sign up and get started.
2. Start a blog
Starting a blog surely isn’t a quick way to make money either, and a lot of people get turned off when they realize how much work needs to be put into it from the beginning.
But if you’re persistent, it becomes bigger and stronger over time. Blogging can even become a 7 to 8 figure business.
Not saying that that’s always the case, but the ceiling can be very high.
Running a blog can be extremely rewarding. You can sell things like courses, trainings, and ebooks, or go the traditional route of running ads and promoting affiliate offers.
To set up a blog, there are thousands of resources out there to help you get started and avoid making rookie mistakes. You’ll first need to set up your WordPress, choose the right plugins, and decide what niche to go into.
Check out a few of RankXL’s articles on blogging for beginners:
3. Build an affiliate site
Building an affiliate site is becoming increasingly popular as there are some really good examples of successful ones out there like NerdWallet and Sky Scanner.
So, if they can do it, why can’t you?
And in many ways, building an affiliate site is like starting a blog, just with slightly different goals/intentions.
With blogging, your primary goal is to build an audience of readers who will then become loyal fans and customers of what you sell and recommend. With an affiliate site, your primary goal is purely to grow traffic and drive affiliate conversions.
So while many aspects of it are the same, the main difference lies in your objective, which usually changes your growth strategies.
4. Flip niche sites (buy and sell niche sites for profit)
If you’ve ever looked at a site and thought, “Wow, this could use a lot of help,” buying and selling niche sites could be a great way to make money online.
All you’ll need to do is buy it, renovate it a little, make sure it’s user friendly, get more backlinks, and make it more profitable.
And it doesn’t take too long to do this. If you fix the right things, it could be profitable and ready to sell within 4-6 months.
If you’re still a little confused on how to do this, take a look at how Zach from Money Nomad flipped a niche site in just 4 months and made $40,000 from it.
5. Sell products on a live webinar
Webinars are a great way to get your business growing rapidly.
You can sell almost anything on a webinar from physical products, courses, coaching packages, etc.
And if you don’t have anything to sell yet, you can monetize by offering a paid webinar where people have to pay to learn from you.
Traditionally, most webinars end with a sales pitch. They usually consist of 45 minutes of teaching, and 15 minutes of selling at the end.
If that’s the model you’re going to follow, make sure that your webinar topic relates to the product you’re pitching, and that the attendees are prospective customers.
6. Build an email list/newsletter
Ask any blogger what their most important asset is, and they’ll tell you it’s their email list.
There’s a reason for that – it’s the most reliable engine of communication with your audience.
You’re able to contact them over and over again, with their permission. Over time, this builds trust and makes it easier to sell and promote products and earn money.
You don’t always need to have a blog to build an email list. It can also serve as your standalone product.
For instance, The Hustle is a daily newsletter that reports on the biggest tech stories of the day. They have over a million subscribers. It’s free to join, and they make money from sponsored ads in each email.
7. Create a paid community (paid slack channel, telegram group, forum)
The problem with most communities online is that they’re full of spam, abuse, and multiple accounts. In the long run, the spammers drown out the quality threads, and the people who were actually serious about participating decide to leave.
This is a reason that paid communities work so well.
Even having a small membership fee can almost completely eliminate all spam, and the people who join will be that much more serious about their account.
It’s difficult to build a business around a community, but the rewards can be worth the effort. If you can provide enough value, and get the right people to join and create rich discussions, people will join even if it costs a lot of money.
I’ve been a member since day one and it’s been one of the best investments in my digital career.
You can sign up here.
8. Build a startup
Building a startup is truly for pure entrepreneurs who are driven and motivated by solving problems.
It will take a long time, a lot of dedication, and a lot of financial resources.
But on the upside, if you can successfully create an online service, tool, or marketplace that fulfills a need, you’ll be able to create a very valuable business.
There are a ton of variable obstacles to overcome when building your startup. Firstly, you’ll need a high level of domain experience within the industry you’re working in. You must ask yourself these three questions:
- Who are my customers?
- What is the problem?
- What is the solution?
Next, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the existing competition.
Who are the big players?
Can I partner with them?
You’ll also need to have steady knowledge on how to raise funding whether through investors or campaigns.
You’ll need to be able to hire the right people, market your product, and keep your financial status in the positives.
Although this seems like quite a high wall to climb, hard work pays off.
Take a look at these 3 startups that are currently doing great:
- Solo Stove – A startup that made a stove that doesn’t require gas. $1.5M in funding.
- Boxed – A startup that lets you shop at wholesale price. $2.43M in funding.
- N.thing – A startup that allows farmers to connect with consumers directly. $2.3M in funding.
All three of these startups raised money from investors.
But if getting an investor doesn’t seem possible, there are a couple of other ways to get seed money.
- Join a startup accelerator. If you do this, you’ll get a ton of direction and some growth money from a group of real investors. They’ll also help connect you with potential partners. They don’t do this for free. You’ll have to give up a little equity of your company. It’s also extremely competitive to get into so don’t rely on this as your only option.
- Bootstrap your business. This means that you’ll raise all the money yourself and your company equity will remain at 100%. If you’ve got the cash, this is your best option.
9. Build and sell software
Building and selling software is very similar to building a startup, but not all startups are software related.
At first, you’ll need to follow the same steps: Identifying a problem and offering a solution.
A large part of this is doing market analysis.
Building a software business is probably the most difficult one in this entire list.
Most people’s objections to it is that they don’t know how to code.
If that’s you, check out this presentation by the founder of Coffee Meets Bagel.
Being non-technical herself, she hired a developer for cheap on Upwork to build the prototype for her.
Once she learned that people actually enjoyed using it, she partnered with a full-time developer and pursued it full-time.
Since then, she was offered $30M by Mark Cuban to buy the entire company, declined it, and hit $10M in sales on the iOS store alone. All from a simple prototype built by a freelancer on Upwork.
Here’s another great guide on how and where to find software developers.
10. Start a podcast
Podcasts are growing faster than ever.
Spotify’s recent $340M spend to acquire Gimlet and Anchor is a clear indicator of that.
Take Joe Rogan as an example of success. His podcast is now listened to 1.5+ billion times per year, earning him an estimated $50-100M of revenue per year just from ads.
And people just starting out are realizing that podcasting is enjoyable, and can grow an audience even quicker than other methods like blogging or YouTubing.
There’s no barrier to entry to create your own podcast. You can get the essential podcasting gear and software, and record your first episode today if you wanted to.
11. Become a gaming streamer on Twitch
Did you know you can make money playing video games? And you don’t even need to be a pro at it.
You just need to be entertaining.
In order to make some cash on Twitch, the goal is to get a high amount of viewers when you stream.
To get an idea of how much you can make from Twitch, take Jeremy ‘Disguised Toast’ Wang as an example.
He recently revealed in a YouTube video that he makes a base salary of $20,000 per month with consistently having around 10,000 viewers tune into his streams.
Once you have a decent amount of viewers, you should start seeing some decent money from ads.
You can also opt to insert affiliate links in your page to sell things like gaming supplies.
Twitch is owned by Amazon so these links will be Amazon links.
And those aren’t the only ways to make money.
Once you have a big audience, brands might reach out to you with sponsorship offers. They’ll send you free equipment and sometimes even offer payment.
And if you get really big, it may be time to consider getting an agent to help you score with the right sponsors.
12. Buy and sell domain names
Although the best names have been bought long ago already, there’s still quite a few solid ones out there.
And if you get lucky, you could make a great deal of money off of just one or two big sales.
When considering which domains to buy, here’s what to look for:
- Is the domain name clean?
- Is it catchy and easy to remember?
After you’ve found one that works with the above, it’s likely that it’s already owned by someone.
You should head over to the aftermarket to buy from the people who already own the names or who let them expire. A great place to look for this is auctions.godaddy.com.
Is the price right?
A great tool to use is namebio.com. It allows you to compare your domain name with similar domain names that have already sold.
You can see everything from how much they were sold for and when they sold.
How can I sell it?
You need to find a venue to host the name on.
Make sure it’s legit,because there are a lot of scammy ones out there.
You must also look at how much traffic the site gets. The more it gets, the better chance you’ll be exposed and sell it faster.
Note: Making money with domain names requires some capital to get started, and a lot of experience in identifying valuable names.
It’s unlikely you’re going to be able to buy a domain worth millions for $10 in today’s market.
It’s more likely scenario is you buying a domain for $1000+ and hoping to sell it for multiple times that in the future.
Even that, though, can take a lot of time to find. It truly is a game of patience and persistence.
13. Start an ecommerce site
Starting an ecommerce site is easier than ever these days.
With companies like Shopify that give you a pre-made website and offer coaching, there isn’t much to worry about in terms of building a website and everything that goes with it.
If your thinking about what to sell, you can go 2 ways:
- Create and sell physical products within a niche.
- Buy low cost items made in foreign countries and repackage them the way you like it, then selling them for higher profits.
Out of these two options, it’s certainly harder to create your own products as you’ll need the workshop space, supplies, and most of your time (or someone your paying’s time) to make the products.
If you can find something that already exists, it could save you a lot of money and time.
All you’ll need to do is find something that sells well on other sites, buy it at the lowest cost possible, repackage it to your brand, then market and sell it on your site.
Then voila, your site is already making money.
All of these products are manufactured in foreign countries for cheap and sold cheap. You could easily make twice the profit.
14. Become a freelance writer
If you have a skill in writing, why not get paid for it?
The web is booming with blogs of all sorts these days, and many of them need the extra writing help.
Meaning that there is a ton of freelance writing work out there.
Although it may not be as scalable as some of the other ideas we’ve spoken about, it can certainly be very rewarding.
Take Elna Cain, a very good example of where freelance writing can get you. Today she is one of the top freelance writers in the world.
In just 6 months after starting freelance writing, she was already making full time income from just working part-time.
But to be like Elna, dedication will be very important. Finding the right clients that pay a reasonable rate in the beginning is tough.
The market is saturated with blogs only looking to hire writers for under 5 cents per word.
Many of these jobs will also be ghost writing, which means you won’t be able to add it into your portfolio either.
But like many other things, you need to start from the bottom in order to grow.
15. Offer online coaching – monthly coaching/training services
Our world is changing.
And with people often being too busy to meet face to face, online coaching is becoming more and more popular.
You could be certified in anything like nutrition, personal training, life coaching, or relationship coaching.
You can even take courses online to become certified.
To get clients, you’re going to want to differentiate yourself from the other online coaches. Find your niche, and determine your unique selling proposition.
- What do you have that others may not?
- What can you give you promise your clients? Do you have any proof?
And most importantly…
- Do you have experience/knowledge in what you’re teaching?
To market yourself, you’ll need to choose your marketing channels. Are you going to reach out to people on Instagram? Make a Facebook page?
You could also partner with other professional within your industry, gaining you twice the network.
You may also want to consider referrals. Don’t underestimate word of mouth just because it’s online.
You’d be surprised at the impact it can have on your business.
16. Offer your intelligence
If you know a lot about one particular subject that you think you can help people with, you can sell your advice/knowledge.
For example, there are a ton of at-home tax consultants.
I personally prefer to use these, as they are cheaper since you don’t have to pay the office fees when going through a brick and mortar business.
But if it’s you offering it, you get to keep 100% of the money. During tax season, if you market yourself properly you’ll get a ton of business.
You can also become a small business expertise consultant for things like startups, building apps, or running a restaurant.
There are a ton of new entrepreneurs who need guidance on how to proceed with their business plans. You can attract clients by advertising locally or you can make an account on a site like Clarity.fm which connects you with clients.
On Clarity, it will be all online and clients can pre-pay to book a phone call with you.
You can also become a person who answers professional questions about various things like law, medicine, mechanics, vets, and more. A great place to do this is on JustAnswer.
There are thousands of people looking for answers from experts every month.
If you’d like to help out, you’ll just need to submit your resume, personal verification, and a form of identification.
Starting out, you’ll get 20% of the fee people pay but you can work yourself up to 50% as you grow.
Each question is usually worth between $2 and $5, depending on the subject and difficulty.
17. Create online courses
Selling online courses is one of the most common ways to make money online if you’re a blogger.
They’re one of the highest margin products you can sell.
Everything is digital. There are cost of goods. You make it once, and then basically sell digital passes to it.
It doesn’t cost you anything to make a sale, apart from the transaction fees.
Courses range in price from $49 all the way to $2000.
It depends on the value of the course you’re selling. At a $2000 price point, you only need 50 customers make a $100,000 in a year.
Ramit Sethi made $600,000 off of his first online course alone.
He’s even had a $5M week from the launch of an online course. Since then, he has successfully made 18 courses.
Click here to read more about his strategy.
What if you don’t have a blog, audience, or email list? Can you still make money?
Yes. It won’t be easy, but it’s still possible. Your options then would be paid traffic and signing on affiliates to promote your product.
18. Become a YouTuber
Today, YouTube is the second most used website besides Google.
YouTube gets loads of traffic, with almost 500 billion video views per day.
That’s an insane number, and it’s exactly the reason why being a youtuber could bring in some good money.
Since there are 1.8 billion YouTube creators, you’ll need to differentiate yourself a bit.
Youtube pays by the amount of people who watch the ads on your videos.
Even if you get 1,000 views, if nobody clicks or watches the ads, you wont make any money.
But typically, you’ll get $2-$5 per every 1000 views.
To get started, you’ll need to create an account and set up your channel.
Remember to pick a memorable username.
You’ll also want to add all the appropriate tags and set your location to make yourself easier to find.
And finally, it’s time to start creating and publishing content.
Grab your camera and start filming!
Don’t be disappointed if your content isn’t great at first. Take Lost Leblanc as an example.
He started out filming his South East Asia adventures with a GoPro and very little subscribers. With passion and practice, he now has over one million subscribers.
19. Become a website tester (user testing)
The people who design and build websites are often blinded by it’s deficiencies.
That’s why they need people who know what a good website is supposed to look like to test it out.
This means making sure it’s user friendly, everything loads properly, and the design is clean and appealing to the eye.
Unlike taking surveys, not everyone can be a website tester.
Most of these sites make you apply and if you don’t get accepted, you can’t test the sites.
Here are the top 5 sites you can apply to:
20. Write and sell an ebook
If you’ve got a story to tell, why not write a book about it?
Books can add a lot of educational value to someone’s life as well as entertain them.
You could write about what you know best, whether it’s about marketing or something crazy that happened to you in your life. Whatever it is, if it’s good, people will buy it.
And these days, you don’t need to go the traditional publisher route. You can publish it yourself. It can even be as simple as creating a document in word and saving it as a PDF file.
And there are actually quite a few places to sell it. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
This site doesn’t only allow you to host and sell your ebook but it also allows you to create promotional campaigns with their promo tools.
There are no set up fees, no monthly fees, and no hosting fees. Payhip only takes a 5% commission from your sales.
Selz is another hosting site to sell your ebook on. If this is your very first time selling an ebook, you’ll want to go with this site as they take care of a lot of the basics for you.
The only downside is that you’ll pay a monthly fee of $17 for the most basic plan.
Plus they’ll take a 2% transaction. So it’s up to you to decide whether having that extra support is worth it.
Amazon is one of the biggest networks to sell your stuff on, including ebooks. Selling things on amazon gives you the advantage of being exposed to the millions of people the shop on it everyday.
This exposure, however, doesn’t come free. As an author, you’ll only receive between 35% and 70% royalty of your ebooks sold.
21. Become an Instagram influencer
Being an influencer on Instagram isn’t an easy thing to achieve.
Even for me, I’ve been trying to grow my account for over a year now and if I’m not on it making the effort every single day, I definitely see my followers drop.
But if you have a good camera, a motivation, and some creativity, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible.
You don’t even have to be a “confirmed” influencer to start making some money.
Once you hit around 1,000 followers you can start reaching out to brands.
Finding your first sponsors can be difficult, tedious and disheartening. You might get denied by many companies but consistency is key.
I’ve seen it happen as I’ve followed accounts when they were small and watched them grow into powerful influencers. Mostly within the travel niche.
Check out this guide from Shopify for more details on how to become an Instagram Influencer.
22. Rent your home on Airbnb or Homeaway
This is an excellent way to make money online.
If you have a vacant room, cottage or house that you’re willing to rent out, might as well list it on Airbnb or Homeaway.
Most of the time, this won’t be passive income as you’ll need to be around to greet and accommodate guests and maintain cleanliness of the house for the next visitors.
But if you’re abroad and still want to do this, you can hire cleaning services that will clean between bookings for you as well as locals that are willing to be around to answer guest’s questions or take care of concerns.
I’ve stayed in plenty of Airbnbs that do this and it’s always been just as good as having the actual host around.
The first thing you’ll need to do it make an account on Airbnb or Homeaway.
Don’t get me wrong, you can list your space on both at the same time as long as you don’t double book them. Once you’re in, click on “become a host”.
Set up your listing, and as long as you meet the requirements, you should be up and running in no time. The requirements and steps for Homeaway are very similar to those of Airbnb.
23. Sell creative work on Etsy
Love arts and crafts? You can take it beyond your art desk and actually sell them.
Anything you can think of from key chains, notebooks, ceramic animals, you can make and sell on Etsy.
Selling on Etsy isn’t cheap, though, and the more money you make, the more you have to pay.
Etsy takes a 3.5% transaction fee, as well as $0.20 for every item posted.
If you’re planning to sell a lot, it might not be worth it.
For example, if you sell $2,220 worth of merchandise, with the 3.5% you’ll pay $79, plus the $0.20 cents per item being listed.
But on the up side, joining Etsy is free, and you’re exposed to a huge network of 33 million shoppers.
24. Sell your used items on Craigslist, Ebay
A very common way to make money online is to sell your stuff on Craigslist or Ebay.
This doesn’t require any special talent or much effort but you do need to have stuff ready to sell.
In other words, if your house is cluttered, this is perfect for you.
You can sell anything from used clothing to your old electronics.
There is a slight difference between Craigslist and Ebay as Craigslist is more of a local buy and sell where you meet the people who buy your stuff.
With Ebay, you can just ship it to them and accept money online through Ebay’s site.
25. Offer graphic design services
If you’re a creative person and have some background in design, you could offer your services and get paid for it.
There is a ton of work available for designers.
Unfortunately, there’s also a ton of competitors as well.
While it may be easy to find work on places like Fiverr and Upwork, if you want to make a serious income from it, it will require you to work extra hard to stand out from the pack.
26. Sell stock photos online
If you’re a photographer, you can make a little extra money by selling your photos to a stock company.
If you want to take it further and make more money, you can also make your own stock photo website to sell your images.
You’ll have to do a lot of marketing so that people know you exist and go to you instead of one of these bigger companies but you’ll be able to keep all the profits, and set your own terms.
27. Become a virtual assistant
Being a virtual assistant is the same as being an assistant, except it’s for all online things.
This can be anything like bookkeeping, database entry, emailing, you name it. And it’s pretty easy to get into.
All you need to do is make an account with one of these sites:
Once you’re set up, start applying for the smaller jobs. Ones that pay around $50.
Do this until you get your portfolio built up, then once people know you are reputable, you can apply for higher paying jobs.
You might even gain some long term work.
28. Transcribe audio and interviews
If you don’t mind listening to the same tape over and over again, transcribing audio and interviews can pay well.
Most services will pay between $15 – $25 per hour of transcribed audio.
If you’re transcribing more complex audio, they’ll pay on the higher range.
Plus, there’s always a doctor, lawyer, professor or researcher that record interviews every day.
And this work also isn’t exactly well known, so your chances of getting work is higher than with other jobs.
29. Be an online travel consultant
If you’re travel savvy and are always on the lookout for the cheapest travel deals, why not help others, too?
To be hired by a work-at-home travel consultant company you don’t necessarily need to have experience, as you’ll usually receive training from the agency.
But keep in mind that you may not get paid for it, and sometimes you’ll have to pay to be trained.
Also, commissions can be quite low if you don’t have any prior experience.
Despite all this, there is money in the air.
Home-based travel agents make an average of $31,056 per year but can make a lot more or a lot less depending on how devoted they are, how many clients come their way, commissions and support from their host agency.
If you’re considering this route, here are some host agencies that hire at-home travel agents:
- Cruises Inc
- Cruise Planners
- Disney Vacation Planner
- National Association of Career Travel Agents
- Home Based Travel Agent Association Center
If you’ve got some experience and think you don’t need the help, an option is to open your own home-based travel agency, where you keep 100% of the commissions.
To get customers you’ll need to start by doing work for friends and family, and asking them to help spread the word.
You can make Facebook groups and LinkedIn pages for people to join and learn about your services.
30. Proofread/edit articles
Like freelance writing, you can also freelance proofread and edit other people’s articles. It can give you a life of being a digital nomad, which is a very, very rewarding career path these days.
It pays decently and you can choose your hours as you please. I’ve seen quite a few of these job listings on Pro Blogger.
31. Data entry
You can make money online by doing data entry for companies either as a freelancer or working for a company.
All you need is quick typing skills and an attention to detail.
If you’re planning on freelancing, you can look for jobs in places like Craigslist, UpWork or Indeed.
32. Enter online contests for company names and slogans
Since it’s a contest, there’s no guarantee that you’ll make money.
But if you have some spare time, why not give it a try? It’s a pretty easy gig too, especially if you’re always coming up with clever one-liners.
If you aren’t one of those people but you’re still interested, you can always get advice from those who are more experienced.
To start off, enter a contest at Slogan Slingers.
33. Narrate audiobooks
If anyone’s ever told you that you have a familiar voice, it’s probably because they’ve heard something similar in movies or the radio.
That’s a good thing if you want to narrate audio books. Only 5% of books get converted into audiobooks, so there isn’t too much opportunity out there but that also means less competition.
34. Get a full time or part-time remote job
And finally, I wanted to include getting a remote job in this list because if you’re someone looking to make a little more than just a side income, and looking for a real career, this is the way to go.
Remote jobs are becoming more and more popular, as employers are finding it to be more beneficial.
Also, with the booming of blogs, there are a ton of jobs in subjects such as social media, content marketing, customer service, engineering and countless others.
All of the options mentioned above are excellent ways to make money online.
But in reality, most of them aren’t going to give you a full-time income right away, or ever.
That being said, I believe it’s important for you to decide what kind of income that you want it to be.
Weather it’s a tiny bit of side money, half your income, or going for the long haul and making it your full time income.
If you’re going for the long haul, the sooner you get started the better.