From freelancing, blogging to affiliate marketing, there are lots of so-called “quick rich” schemes out there. Do they work? Hard to say. Could you make money doing it? Probably not. But even if you could, you’d make more from your normal 9-5 job. At the very least, that paycheck is a guaranteed one.
Studies have shown that there are many real ways to make money online, with millions of people across the world doing it every single day.
If you're exploring small business ideas, there are plenty of options that fit the digital nomad lifestyle. This includes successful marketing strategies and new technology ventures. All you need is a laptop and a reliable internet connection!
So let’s break down how to make money online… the real way.
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How to Make Money Online: 25 Real Ways
1. Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing: What it Is?
- Affiliate marketing is a form of internet marketing that allows an affiliate to generate income by promoting someone else's product or service. It is a great way to make money online because you can choose any topic you are interested in and create a promotional website.
- Affiliate marketing is a way for small business owners to reach out to new customers by paying others to help sell their product. It's an inexpensive and low-risk way for businesses of all sizes to increase their reach.
Affiliate marketing is a powerful way to make money online. As an affiliate marketer, you can potentially work with any company you are remotely interested in. Many people think writing is unpredictable, but if you do research and put in the work it can be stable. There are constant ups and downs, but just keep pushing through.
Becoming an affiliate for any company offers a great and affordable way to make money online. For example, Amazon has a large and continuously-growing global market and the Fiverr marketplace has lots of different niches to explore.
Affiliate marketing lets you earn a living by promoting other brands. You can use your marketing skills to generate income through commission based work, which includes retail products, software, apps and more.
Note: Earning a commission may seem small on its own, but it's important to consider that you can link multiple brands into your content and earn affiliate commissions with just one single blog post.
If you want to make money online with affiliate marketing, the best way to do so is by drawing visitors and leads to your content marketing website. By building a blog filled with high-quality content on various topics, you're creating an asset that's all your own.
Focusing on content marketing is pretty great in that if an affiliate program slows down, you can easily switch to a competitor and your side hustle income won't be adversely effected.
2. Start a YouTube Channel
If other people can make money from YouTube, there's no reason why you can't. You just need to come up with a good idea and be consistent.
Starting a YouTube channel is an affordable and accessible way of getting into the online space. Websites and blogs require a lot of time and energy to maintain whereas Youtube channels only need content.
There are no limits to how you can use your YouTube channel; you can create videos about your day-to-day life, tutorials on makeup, dancing, cooking, stream video games, review products, teach skills, create prank videos, or vlogs documenting your travels around the world.
A YouTube channel can serve as a way to build your personal brand or business, increase your visibility with potential customers, and even earn revenue with ad revenue.
In order to make money on YouTube you need to give your audience content they want either because it entertains them or educates them. You can attract views by including a clever title, or use keywords that are popular on YouTube searches.
Once you’ve reached the 1,000 subscriber milestone, you can start making money with YouTube ads by turning on monetization.
3. Start a Blog
One of the most popular methods for making money online is blogging. It's also one of the oldest and has a variety of benefits. People who love writing often start blogs on a more niche focus so they can maintain control and enjoy themselves at the same time.
For example, a blog about small business trends, digital marketing, cars, dropshipping, etc., focus on a niche that's narrow enough to be interesting but large enough that you can put many different ideas into it.
Old-fashioned blogging may have taken a backseat for a few years, but it's still alive and well.
You can provide your readers with practical advice, inspirational stories, or just a little share of your life. Blogging also gives people a chance to find out more about you and your work. They're coming back because they want to keep reading what you have to say!
The people that follow you are primed to buy your products. They either see ads or affiliate links in the posts you create and come to trust those products because of the free content they’ve always seen and read from you first.
You also get higher rankings in search engines such as Google by regularly adding valuable content to your blog. Articles, videos and more can help your posts rank high on Google, so be sure you're making the most out of the information you're offering.
Blogging is a good way to make money and we have a few things to consider when deciding how to monetize. You can promote affiliate products, your own products and services and you could also show ads.
4. Become an Influencer
Building a personal brand is one of the key ways to make money online. Reality stars, professional athletes, and prominent singers are the types of influencers who make the most money, but you shouldn't underestimate the power that just one person with an established personal style can have.
They might not be high-profile influencers or making millions per year, but they're still able to make more money today than they did a few years back.
To be an influencer, you need to build a healthy following first. Instagram and YouTube are great avenues for doing that. Some of the most famous non-celebrities first became famous on these platforms, so they're worth looking into too.
To be a successful influencer, you have many opportunities. For those that want to charge for sponsored content, giving speaking gigs, or sell products from their own online store, they can also add affiliate links in their bio and sell photos, or advertise with brands as a brand ambassador to make money as an influencer.
5. Consider Freelancing
The simplest way to earn money online is to take the skills you use in your day-to-day job and do them in a flexible way instead.
For example, if you're a graphic designer, administrative assistant, writer, teacher etc., you can use your skills to find clients online and work from anywhere. You get paid without having to commute to the office every day.
There are so many websites for freelance jobs, so you’ll be hard-pressed to run out of places to look. The most popular ones include specific write job boards, but there are also general freelancer sites like Flexjobs, Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, etc. If your job doesn’t have any online streams of income, then you can look into other abilities that can be transferred.
You can make money online as a freelancer by starting by building up your portfolio. This includes doing some free work for reputable brands to help get your name out there.
To gain a good portfolio that will serve as a strong resume, it's important to be patient and do personalized email outreach. The more job applications you send, the higher your chances of finding a freelancing project!
To maximise your chances of success in your course, you should monitor other courses on the same topic. Then, monitor their reviews.What are people proactively praising, and what are the things people negatively point out?
To create something better than what’s already been created is challenging, but not impossible. It's important to focus on creating content that meets the needs of your audience. Emulating what has been successful is also important.
The platform you use to sell your course will determine the most effective way to make money. If you choose Udemy, for example, it takes much less work to promote your course since they do most of the heavy lifting. But if you prefer another platform like Thinkific or Teachable then others might need promoting too, or on your own blog or website for instance.
However, if you host the course on your own blog or website then it is worth running ads to promote it. You can also build an email list to enable you to contact your audience more, about future courses or even other content.
7. Start Dropshipping
For many people, running a traditional ecommerce store can seem like a good idea but actually requires you to do a lot. E-commerce entrepreneurs need to hire employees, buy resources ahead of time and maintain inventories. The process can be both time and money consuming.
Dropshipping is becoming more popular because it offers many benefits, such as being able to advertise and sell products online right away with a whole load of advantages. There’s no need to invest in order fulfillment services or spend time hiring a team.
How a dropshipping business model works?
- You create an online store and upload photos of your products along with pricing.
- When someone places an order with you, they pay for it directly using the payment method you offer. You typically keep a small margin for yourself and then forward the mandate to the manufacturer or dropship supplier that you've partnered with.
- The dropshipping supplier / manufacturer delivers the product to the customer to complete the order.
The process couldn't be simpler. You can easily become an online retailer for thousands of potential products with just a website.
Here are some stats to get you started with dropshipping:
- Identify a niche market and find out which products are most suitable for your audience.
- You should conduct competitor research to see what type of products they offer and their prices too.
- You should carefully consider which ecommerce platform you should use and design your online store around them to create a cohesive and professional feeling for your customers.
- Get in touch with reputable dropshipping suppliers.
- Sync your product inventory with a supplier like Inventory Source.
- Launch your ecommerce website.
- Start marketing your online store.
If you’re looking for an ecommerce site, I suggest Wix as they’re very easy to use and have lots of integrations with many dropshipping tools.
To succeed as a dropship retailer, you need to develop your own brand. Not only does this make it easier to stand out among other competition, but it also allows for selling more variety of products. It looks like the best way is to sell 5-10 different types of highly unique items.
You can get started for free with Wix and upgrade to the business plan when you're ready to take your site to the next level.
8. Try Print on Demand
The popularity of print-on-demand services is proving to be unsurprising. More and more, designers are using the business model to make money off their work by selling items with their designs on them – like t shirts & posters. With the detailed art they create, many designers are now able to make a good living.
Print on demand is like dropshipping because you only produce on products that customers order. You don't need to stock or ship goods yourself.
Print on demand is like dropshipping because you only produce on products that customers order. You don't need to stock or ship goods yourself.
There are two main differences though:
You can create labels with your business' logo and add them to products, which is great for brand awareness and customer engagement.
Shipping costs are a pain, so it can be difficult to create a sustainable business unless you have a price point or quantity that's higher.
You may not be aware of it, but there are companies in the US, Canada, or Europe that can provide you with printing services. One of these companies is Printify or Printful which offer you the chance to start your own clothing line.
9. Publish an Ebook
Amazon's KDP self-publishing service makes it easy to publish an ebook. After writing your ebook, formatting it, designing a cover & publishing it, you can market it for even greater exposure.
Hiring a freelancer for help with your ebook can save time and headaches, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business. Freelancers can also provide assistance in areas that you might not be skilled in- like designing the cover, formatting the ebook, or writing sections of it for you.
One of the most effective ways to rank your ebook on Amazon is to focus on popular search keywords. You can either use the Keyword Tool, to do this by looking at what's trending or deciding which keywords you think will resonate most with your target audience. It's also a good idea to include these terms in your title.
To make money online selling ebooks, you can market it in a number of ways. You can give away your ebook for free for a few days. This helps you rank high in search results for some time and get some reviews, which helps you rank better for paid listings.
You can make money online by selling ebooks in a variety of ways. Giving away your ebook for free for few days will help you rank high in search results and get reviews, which will help you rank better later on for paid listings.
In addition you can make your own graphics on Pinterest to match the “Pinterest style” rather than placing your ebook cover as a pin is a clever way of increasing clicks to the ebook from Pinterest.
10. Become a Writer
With the interest in content marketing growing, many brands are now looking for great writers to create content. The key to becoming successful as writer is to be an expert in a niche.
Most writers try to be generalists with content on different topics. This approach can make it difficult to stay on top of your game, especially for deadlines. But if you specialize in one topic, you're able to handle an influx of content confidently and more effectively.
If your expertise is in a specific niche, then you can bring a fresh and original perspective to the content that you write. This creates more value and sell-ability for customers, which is what brands ultimately want to invest in.
If someone is looking for a marketing writer, sending samples of your work in that field is the most effective thing you can do. A finance article and fitness article may not necessarily offer the same insight into how well you understand the industry so be sure to send your best understanding if they ask.
If you attach a list of links to some of your best writing samples then you'll have a better chance of getting through. If your pitch doesn't offer any of this, it'll likely get ignored.
11. Create an App
If you don't have any programming skills, you'll probably be looking at this money-making app idea and wondering how to get started. Luckily for you, there is a way to get an app made without any coding – it just requires skill in other areas.
The best way to make money on your app is by adding it to the Google Play and Apple Store. Surprisingly, you might make more money with a free app than one that cost's money.
You can use a free app to earn more money by adding advertising or paid features. The higher volume of visitors will be more likely to buy your products & services when they are on your site.
12. Do Translation Work
Translation work is a great choice if you want to start making money now. You'll need to be fluent in at least one other language and it's perfect if you're bilingual or majored in a popular language in school.
It's a good idea to provide samples of your ability to translate. If you have experience translating text, it would be a smart move to show examples on your portfolio as well as make sure the interviewer knows about the ability as well.
Most companies will require some sort of test from you, but some may even ask for a translation from A to B before they give you the job.
It's important to be fluent in the languages you're applying for, or else you can't apply. You can't rely on machine translators and tools.
13. Create Side Gigs
If you’re looking to make some extra money online, but don’t want your job to be in jeopardy, side gigs are an option. They allow you the same flexibility like freelance work does but with less risk. Keep in mind that they don't always last for long periods of time, but if you're looking for short-term quick cash, they can be.
You can get started with platforms like Fiverr and offer a gig that's affordable and easy to complete. This way, once you build up your review history, you'll be able to showcase other services for a higher price.
The best way to get started with Fiverr is by getting a friend to buy your gig and leave you a five-star review. Make sure they’re happy and that you actually deliver the finished product that you can proudly showcase on your portfolio.
Some people might not be willing to work for Fiverr prices, so it’s a good idea to start looking at platforms like Flexjobs. Under their “jobs” category, you can do a keyword search for remote or contract opportunities. FlexJobs telecommute opportunities cover any city in the world – there's no better way to work from whichever city you love.
FlexJobs has all sorts of side gigs available from, business, accounting, design, writing and more!
So if your skills and contribution don't overlap with any of the ideas you read on this list, you might want to try one of the many opportunities from FlexJobs. Many people start turning to side gigs in order to make more money on top of an already-secure career. Apply for multiple jobs and see what sticks!
14. Become an Online Tutor
If you're a qualified tutor, you can make a lot of money online by offering your services to students online. To do this, you never have to leave the comfort of your home and enjoy flexible hours. Start building up your client base from scratch or from referrals then send them offers for quality group rates.
One of the most popular options for tutoring services is English tuition, despite the fact it's often in high demand. As you know, there are many international students with specific learning needs and tutoring may be the perfect way to make some quick money while satisfying their needs.
A degree or experience in a language is essential for this type of work. Show how you've qualified by showing a degree, high grade average, or another qualification that's relevant to the subject you're trying to teach.
You may also be in a more competitive position for a tutoring or teaching position if you have a teaching degree. You could even consider an online tutoring, teaching, or mentoring job if you've given speeches on the topic. Try to tutor in your field of expertise. If you are not the best, it is advisable not to tutor about that specific topic.
15. Sell Your Stuff
When you're desperate to either make some money now or just have some spending cash until you find a job, selling your stuff is sometimes the only option. It's also a good idea if you're unemployed and struggling to find employment.
You can earn a bit of money online selling your goods or belongings, or if you head to a pawn shop. Keep in mind the shipping costs that come with selling online- make sure to charge the buyer for it if you’re shipping those items internationally.
Most people immediately think of selling their old books, DVDs, and CDs. But most people don’t want to buy those things in this day & age. So that means you won't be able to sell it for much anyways. Why not try something else instead?
When you're looking to make a buck quickly it's worth thinking about the kind of items people want instantly, like laptops, TVs, phones, furniture and designer handbags. You can also sell clothes on different sites to come up with a little extra cash.
You might try selling in Facebook groups and Instagram, in addition to the platform you're already posting on. If you post in various places online, there's a chance someone will find your product.
16. Become a Virtual Assistant
There are so many entrepreneurs building their own businesses nowadays and as a result the demand for virtual assistants is growing.
As a Virtual Assistant, you'll be doing a range of tasks. You can do things like interacting with customers on social media or taking care of bookkeeping. Writing is just one area that you could specialize in to really help your client's business grow.
There are many opportunities to make money online, including on sites like Upwork, Virtual Assistant Jobs or Indeed. Some virtual assistants have also found ways to make money online by contacting brands and entrepreneurs offering their services.
A combination of different job posting applications & some outreach will help you find work more easily. Building an active social media presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., will help you find new clients fast.
17. Become a Twitch Streamer
The popularity of Twitch streaming is on the rise and we're not surprised, considering it began as a gaming platform. Nowadays, you can find all types of content, like music, podcasts, and original entertainment, like stand-ups and more. One way to make money online with Twitch is by building a following. If you’re consistent, streaming on Twitch can help to establish a major fanbase fairly quickly.
You'll need to find a game or channel that’s not too competitive so that people can find your content easily. There are plenty of niches in streaming where you can make money, but it’ll be important for you to have a style that's consistent to your channel: will it be funny, educational, etc?
If you want to grow your Twitch following, engaging in the chat feature is key. It's important to participate in popular chats as well as talk with people on your streams.
Here are some ways you can make money on Twitch: selling products, brand sponsorships, donations from fans, subscriptions, and adding ads. As a streamer, it's important to build your earnings by focusing on all five opportunities – you'll end up earning more that way.
You could make more on Twitch than on YouTube, which makes the platform one of the best choices for video creators who want to make money online from streaming.
18. Sell Your Photography
There are many ways to make money with your photography. You can set up your own website or Facebook page and sell your services there. Alternatively, you can post various services you offer in local Facebook groups for free.
Photography is a booming profession with many talented photographers on the rise. It's perfect for entrepreneurs, because it's easy to have your own photography business.
19. Sell Your Clothes Online
You've probably got clothes that you haven't worn in over a year, and you don't plan on wearing them anytime soon. Why not try to make some money off of them? Listing them online can be an easy way to shift your closet clutter.
There are different ways you can make money online. Selling on multiple platforms is a popular way. You could try to sell items in person, like at a yard sale or garage sale, and the Facebook buy and sell group would be a great place to find local customers who want what you’re selling.
20. Invest in Stocks
If you are looking to make some quick cash, investing in stocks might be the way to go. Not all of us are experts when it comes to picking stock though, so this might not be the best idea for everyone.
While it can have one of the highest rewards, it is also possible to lose money if you are inexperienced. If you currently work 9-5, see if your company has any financial programs that might benefit you.
Are you able to invest in company stocks using the program? If so, sign up for it. At least with a company stock program, you have some influence over the performance of your company as an employee. If you're looking to save up for retirement or a first home, you can sign up for your company's RRSP matching program too.
21. Sell Domains
If you buy domain names but never use them, you can always try to sell them again for a profit. The competition in this area is very tough, so it might be better to focus on domains with one word .com extensions. If the name contains two words it would also be good if the words are similar, searchable terms.”
This is also true for domains that are up-and-coming in the field. For example, a few years back it was easier to sell domains about fidget spinners than they are now.
GoDaddy has an easy-to-use search tool that enables you to find a domain that suits your needs. You can buy a custom domain through GoDaddy domain registration platform.
You can sell your domains on GoDaddy's Domain Auction. Just look through the domains with the highest bids to get a sense of what kind of domains will yield you the most money. Seeing what other sellers are doing will help you know if your domain is worth selling and how much money you can make from it.
22. Sell Your Designs Online
Graphic design is a skill that you can use to make some extra cash from several different strategies. You could go the print on demand route and sell your designs onto your own products. Alternatively, you could try leveraging a platform like 99 Designs.
GraphicRiver and Creative Market are two marketplaces that you can sell your own graphics, templates or anything else to others. Or, if graphic design is what you love doing for a living then it's possible to find clients and get paid for your work as a freelance graphic artist on these sites.
23. Become an Extreme Couponer
When you need to save a bit of money, it can be useful to use coupons. But with Coupon Chief, you'll also be able to make some extra cash online instead.
Many coupon-sharing websites offer a “Pays-to-Share” program where you can get some of the sales you generate. You just have to add coupons that haven't been shared before. When it comes to paying out, these sites will typically pay back 2%-3%.
It’s a lot like affiliate marketing where you can share referral links and generate a commission when someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase. You can earn extra money online by being a coupon affiliate. Coupon Chief has already paid out over $3,1 million in commissions to their affiliates over the last few years.
24. Review Software, Apps and Websites
If you’re passionate about user experience get paid to be a User Testing member. You get paid to give feedback on websites and apps owned by other entrepreneurs. That's a way for anyone to make money online. You'll be given a set of questions as you browse through the website, and the answers you provide will earn you money.
You will be able to give your opinions & feedback on their product by going through a video. While you navigate the different pages of the website or application, they will ask questions about your thoughts on whichever page you are on. I
f you produce 3 videos per hour, you can make $30 each by the time your video is 20 minutes long. It's competitive, so you need to react quickly when opportunities arise.
People looking for work-from-home jobs may find the Software Judge website useful. It provides a way to earn money online by reviewing software.
25. Become a TikTok Consultant
Looking to make some changes in your life? One trend you should try is becoming a TikTok consultant. Brands will contact you for help with video ideas, developing bios, and many more. But the best part is how it can help make money online!
As a digital nomad, this is a great oppurtunity to make money on TikTok. You can run the entire business from your smartphone and it’s relatively new. This means that there’s a good chance that you can be valuable because not many people are targeting TikTok right now as brands grow their presence on the app.
This is why you need to have some skills before offering TikTok consultancy to businesses. One of the most important things in marketing is being able to create viral videos that people want to engage with. If you're having a hard time with this, then you can always learn how by taking this TikTok course.
Making money online can be an excellent side hustle and help you earn some extra cash, but it's also a great way to escape your 9-5 and start living the life of your dreams. Just like with any endeavor, there are challenges involved in this lifestyle but the rewards will make all of that worth it.
By coming up with an online business idea and actually starting it, you not only make money online and improve your financial security, but you also take control of your entire life.
With the right commitment and dedication, it's absolutely possible to make a living online. Which side hustle are you going to try out first?
FAQ's on How to Make Money Online
1. What are the Best Jobs to Make Money Online?
There are plenty of jobs you can do online to make money, but some are more lucrative than others. Building a dropshipping or print on demand business can be cheap and easy. Starting a blog or becoming a writer can take some time and effort, but the money they make is worth it. There are many jobs out there that pay really well online.
2. How Can You Make Money Online Right Now?
There are real ways for you to make money online – millions of people are doing it every day. Whether you're interested in freelancing, marketing, or business ideas to get your creative juices flowing, there are plenty of ways for you to make money without sacrificing your integrity, time or sanity. You can use your laptop to start a business idea from home too.