Dec 03, 2021
35 Best Ways to Make Money Online in 2021
Many people today turn to digital solutions to save operational costs, expand their reach, and make money online.
Not only that, but various new job opportunities have also taken the spotlight thanks to the rapid growth of technological advances and remote work trends. As a result, practically anyone can supplement their income by offering services or selling their creations through various online platforms.
The opportunities to make extra cash today are more generous than ever. In this article, we’ll show our picks of 35 short and long-term ways you can make money online.
By the end of it, you’ll learn how easy it is to make money via your online business, whether it’s a side hustle or a long-term venture.
Top 10 Quick Ways to Make Money Online
The internet makes nearly everything accessible, regardless of location or device. So, if you’re looking for ways to make easy money online in a relatively short period of time, consider our top picks:
- Review websites. Give feedback on people’s websites to improve their usability.
- Do voice-over work. Lend your talents to commercials, trailers, and audiobooks.
- Complete online surveys. Make money online by sharing your opinions.
- Be a mystery shopper. Get paid to review businesses and share your experience as a customer.
- Test games and software. Provide developers with insights into their softwares’ user experience.
- Sell stock photos and footage. Ideal for photographers and videographers looking for a way to make passive income.
- Sell second-hand items. Declutter your home and sell anything from clothes, appliances, and vehicles.
- Sell school notes. Popular among students wanting to maintain good grades while making money on the side.
- Carry out small jobs. Excellent for people with limited technical skills and who don’t have much free time.
- Monetize your art and designs. Sell products bearing your designs or do art commissions.
Let’s look at how these money-making methods work and discuss some tips to make your online business successful.
1. Test Websites and Give Feedback
If you have basic technical skills or a keen eye for website design and development, consider becoming a website tester. It’s a great freelance job to make fast cash and a good starting point for newbies looking to enter the web development industry.
As a website tester, it’s necessary to have critical and logical thinking skills, excellent communication skills, and knowledge of website functionality and design. These factors can help improve your job prospects and test-reporting quality.
Payments are project-based, and rates differ based on testing methods and the marketplace’s policy. For example, UserTesting offers between $4-$120/test, where the higher earnings threshold is for people who do live conversation tests with clients.
Here are a few marketplaces where you can sign up for website testing projects:
- Ubertesters. Focuses on mobile apps and game testing.
- UserTesting. Offers usability testing projects.
- Testbirds. User experience testing for digital products, including eCommerce stores, mobile apps, and games.
- Userlytics. In addition to testing websites and apps, it offers projects focusing on reviewing video commercials.
- TryMyUI. Impression testing and survey-based projects.
2. Do Voice-Over Work
Doing voice-over work is an excellent way to quickly make money online. Most voice-over jobs are project-based, so long-term commitment isn’t required.
Best of all, companies are always looking for new voice-over talent. Here are just a few examples of how to use your voice to make cash:
- Audiobooks. Help bring a story to life by lending your voice to children’s storybooks, novels, and everything in between.
- Advertisements and commercials. Ads with voice-overs are still a primary way for companies to market their products and services.
- Trailers. Movies, shows, and even events create trailers to build anticipation.
- Demonstration videos. Some companies create how-to videos and hire voice-over talent to help demo their products.
- Guides. Audio guides are popularly used by museums, galleries, travel agencies, and tourist destinations to help enhance visitors’ experiences.
The amount you earn from doing voice-overs depends on your experience, the type of project, and the length of the script. For example, the average salary for a voice-over artist doing small to medium projects is around $30/recording hour.
On the other hand, audiobook voice talent can earn up to $125/recording hour, while veterans may charge up to $500/recording hour.
One of the easiest ways to get started is by creating a profile on Upwork and responding directly to job ads looking for voice-over talent. Signing up for freelance websites is an excellent way to test the waters and compare voice-over jobs currently available.
Despite sounding like an easy job, good voice-over talents are flexible, dynamic, and can bring a script to life no matter the topic. With audiobooks, for example, a consistent narrative voice, excellent articulation skills, the ability to voice different characters, and good pacing abilities are crucial to master.
To prepare for voice-over work, try out some sample scripts and see which niche fits your voice and style the best. Knowing your strengths helps market your services to the right clients.
We also recommend investing in a good microphone and recording software since clarity and good quality audio are crucial factors when recording samples. Also, try to control your surroundings when creating audio samples, such as minimizing background noise.
3. Complete Online Surveys
It might sound too good to be true, but you can earn some money by completing online surveys.
Today, many companies pay people to participate in their surveys, which are typically used for general market research and analyzing consumer behavior. They might also help take business decisions, like what types of products to launch or where to publish advertisements.
However, note that not everyone can do online surveys. Take a look at some of the reasons we list below:
- Limited demographic. Some surveys aren’t open for everybody and instead target a specific group of people. This can be based on gender, age, occupation.
- Low pay. Many online survey websites use a point system. You’ll accumulate points after completing surveys and can cash out after reaching a certain earnings threshold.
For example, you can earn anywhere between $0.50-$3/survey. However, you won’t see this money unless you reach the earnings threshold, which could be between $10-$25.
- Time-consuming. Due to the payout systems of most survey websites, you’ll have to dedicate a lot of time to see real returns. Some surveys can even take up to one hour to complete.
- Not for the long-term. Unlike some of the other entries in this article, you won’t be able to transition this into a full-time job for the reasons stated above.
If the above drawbacks don’t phase you, here are some popular websites that pay you to complete online surveys:
- Swagbucks. Earn points, cash, or gift cards by watching videos, playing games, and completing surveys.
- Survey Junkie. Help brands deliver better products and services by participating in their market surveys.
- Harris Poll Online. Enter a rewards program by participating in polls run by this survey platform.
4. Become a Mystery Shopper
If you’re an avid shopper, becoming a mystery shopper is an excellent way to make some extra money.
Retailers or market research companies hire mystery shoppers to shop at specific locations and report on the overall consumer experience. It’s a way to monitor customer service, store conditions, and product quality without employees knowing that they’re being examined.
Although this option isn’t fully online, there is also remote mystery shopper work. These jobs, for example, require testing service quality at call centers or evaluating an online shopping experience.
Here are a few of the most popular companies where you can sign up online to become a mystery shopper:
- Market Force. Get hired by grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, and even gas station convenience shops to try out their products and services.
- BestMark. Become a field representative or evaluator to help companies improve their business operations.
- Secret Shopper. Go out for lunch or visit a resort and get reimbursed for your assessment.
Payments for mystery shoppers vary depending on the company. For each job completed, you either get reimbursed for the items purchased, receive vouchers and gift cards, or earn between $10-$25 on average.
To avoid scams, keep in mind that you should never pay to become a mystery shopper. Note that you’re also an independent contractor, so companies can’t force you to take on a certain number of jobs even after signing up.
5. Test Games and Apps
In 2020, the online gaming industry grew by a record 21.9% compared to the previous year, generating $21.1 billion in revenue.
It also holds the largest share in the global digital media market. As a result, many opportunities have appeared for users to make money online in their spare time, testing games and gaming apps in exchange for rewards.
Some games or apps, like Mistplay, require you to perform specific tasks and collect rewards in gaming currencies to be redeemed as dollars later on. Other platforms such as Givling and Gamesville offer sweepstakes and giveaways.
While these games and apps provide an easy way to make money online, make sure to check reviews before installing or signing up for them. Some use these platforms as a front for scams, stealing personal information and bank details.
The rule of thumb is to avoid pay-to-play games. You want to make money, not spend it.
6. Sell Stock Photos and Footage
If you’re an avid photographer or videographer, consider selling photos online and footage to generate a passive income. It’s a great way to practice your passion while earning a few bucks on the side.
Many companies and business owners use stock content in their marketing campaigns, ads, and websites. In addition to the standard stock photo format, buyers also look for fresh ideas and unique perspectives to make their company stand out.
You can make a photography website and sell photos there. At the same time, it’s a good idea to sign up for a few online marketplaces and list your digital downloads. That way, you’ll get a head start at cultivating your personal brand while promoting it to potential buyers.
Some of the biggest stock photography and videography websites include:
- Shutterstock. Offers multiple earning levels based on the number of downloads sold.
- Getty Images. Pays between 15%-45% in royalties depending on the license exclusivity agreement.
- VideoHive. As part of the larger Envato ecosystem, this platform deals in stock videos and photos with author-driven pricing.
- Dissolve. Specializes in selling high-quality curated stock videos and photos.
7. Sell Second-Hand Items
Selling or renting second-hand items is another excellent way to make money quickly and a great motivation to start decluttering your space.
Once you inventory the items to sell, make sure to take high-quality images before listing them on online marketplaces. If you plan to do this in the longer term, also consider building a website to host your own online store.
One of the most popular categories to sell online is clothing. The market value of the second-hand clothing industry is predicted to reach $77 billion by 2026.
There are plenty of online marketplaces that specifically cater to the second-hand clothing and accessories market. Here are just a few examples:
- Tradesy. Specializes in women’s clothing and accessories.
- Etsy. An excellent marketplace to sell unique, handmade, and vintage items.
- Rebelle. Sell clothes and accessories on this second-hand luxury online retailer.
- Depop. A popular platform for both vintage and designer goods.
Other than clothes and accessories, make money online by selling used items such as furniture, gadgets, sports equipment, and art tools. The used car market also saw a rise in demand in 2020.
Some of the best online marketplaces to sell used items of all categories include:
- eBay. A popular choice for various types of products, including collectibles and vehicles.
- Gadget Salvation. Focuses on used gadgets like laptops, cellphones, and tablets.
- Facebook Marketplace. An ideal option for targeting local buyers.
- Reverb. A great place to sell musical instruments and gear.
- Fat Llama. An excellent alternative for those who don’t want to sell. This is a unique rental website where you can list equipment like sewing machines and DJ turntables for people to lease.
8. Sell School Notes
Selling copies of your school notes is one of the easiest ways for students to make money online. Additionally, you can sell second-hand textbooks to new students.
When selling school notes, however, make sure that you aren’t committing plagiarism or academic misconduct. For example, do not disclose homework assignments or tests. Similarly, never sell or distribute copyrighted material.
A safe bet is to sell the notes that contain general but insightful information about a subject, such as modules, flashcards, and study guides. Also, be careful not to present your notes as facts but simply as supplementary study documents.
Aside from student or alumni message boards and community forums, here are some of the best places to sell school notes:
- Nexus Notes. They offer a 50% commission per set of notes sold.
- NoteXchange. Sell your notes for $5-$40 and earn a 100% commission if you join their affiliate program.
- Notesgen. With over 5.5 million users, this platform based in India accepts handwritten notes and presentation slides.
- OneClass. Earn up to 20% of revenue when someone subscribes to your content.
9. Carry Out Micro Jobs
A micro job is a short-term, temporary job that pays per task completed. Earnings vary, averaging from a few cents to $50/task.
Micro jobs generally take just minutes to a couple of hours to complete, giving you the freedom to do multiple tasks in your spare time. It’s a great option for freelancers, new graduates, and students since micro jobs also help you gain experience and build a portfolio.
The most common online micro jobs include blogging, short translations, data entry, and administrative tasks. Popular offline micro jobs are babysitting, dog walking, and lawn mowing.
Here are some great micro-job websites to find online gigs:
- Fiverr. One of the most popular platforms for a variety of small jobs, from logo designing to translations.
- Amazon Mechanical Turk. An excellent platform for users with video, image, and data processing skills.
- Appen. A great option for doing small jobs like transcribing or categorizing data.
10. Sell Art and Designs
Selling digital products is one of the best ways for artists to earn extra money online.
List your creations on art marketplaces like DeviantArt and ArtStation, and they’ll help manage the transactions. This is a great way to gain exposure in the online creative community and reach potential clients.
Alternatively, sell your artwork and designs independently via social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have over 2 billion monthly active users on average, so there’s an excellent chance for exposure.
Selling on social media is a good way to sell quickly, especially if you promote your art among specific networks. For example, sell on Facebook Marketplace and promote your products by joining groups and interacting with potential buyers.
Or, sell via Instagram by activating the Instagram Shopping feature on a profile specifically dedicated to your artwork.
Improve the chances of selling by posting your artwork often, creating engaging captions, utilizing hashtags, interacting with bigger channels, and following users with similar interests.
If you opt for a marketplace like ArtStation, it’s possible to earn up to 95% from sales. On the other hand, if you’re selling on your own social media profiles, you can keep up to 100% of the profit.
Top 25 Long-Term Strategies to Make Money Online
Now that we’ve covered some of the best short-term ways to make extra cash, it’s time to explore some long-term strategies to make money online.
Unlike the previous section, the entries in the following list require some initial investment in terms of time, and in some cases, money. Even so, they are worth considering if you’re looking to expand your skills and work portfolio.
1. Make Money Blogging
Blogging is an excellent way for avid writers to earn a source of income. Many people start a blog to share insights, express their views, and establish a brand.
You can start a blog about anything, like a travel blog, food blog, or book blog. Researching some of the most popular blog ideas can also help you find a profitable niche.
Some of the most common ways to make money blogging are through advertising and affiliate marketing. Selling products and doing brand sponsorships are other popular monetization methods.
To have a profitable blog, it’s essential to find a niche and be consistent with posting content. These factors are also crucial when building an audience and having successful marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
2. Join an Affiliate Program
Joining an affiliate marketing program is a great way to make money online.
Earn a commission as an affiliate by promoting products, services, or businesses on different platforms. When a customer clicks on an affiliate link and completes a purchase, you earn a percentage.
Many affiliates have found success in this industry, with 35% revealing that they earn at least $20,000/year. Signing up to more than one affiliate network is one way to gain more opportunities and make additional money.
With so many affiliate programs and networks to choose from, make sure to join the ones that fit your niche. For instance, if you have a blog dedicated to computers and technology, you can become a Hostinger affiliate.
Here are some of the most profitable affiliate programs and networks to make money from:
- Amazon Associates. One of the biggest affiliate networks, it offers rates between 1% and 10%.
- SEMrush. A great option for content marketers, this program provides a 40% monthly commission rate for all subscription plans.
- CJ Affiliate. A popular choice for affiliates with established platforms wanting to work with large and reputable brands.
- eBay Partner Network. A good starting point for all affiliate niches and levels.
- Tripadvisor. Perfect for affiliates within the travel industry.
- GetResponse. A platform offering one-time referrals and recurring commissions for affiliates in the marketing niche.
Like any other business model, affiliate marketing takes trial and error. Some of the biggest mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing include choosing the wrong niche, not producing quality content, and ignoring website performance.
3. Build an eCommerce Website
More and more brick-and-mortar stores are also turning to eCommerce due to its advantages. Apart from having a broader market reach, eCommerce stores require lower startup costs. For example, you don’t need to rent different retail locations to scale operations.
Before launching an eCommerce business, it’s essential to decide the store’s niche. If you’re unsure, researching trending products helps to narrow down which types of products to sell online.
Creating an online store today also couldn’t be easier, even for beginners, thanks to the growth of eCommerce platforms. However, picking the right one is an important decision since the platform will contribute to your and your customers’ overall experience.
Here’s our compilation of the five best eCommerce platforms to build an online store:
- Zyro eCommerce. A beginner-friendly website builder offering free themes and multiple AI-generated tools.
- WooCommerce. An open-source platform built for WordPress that provides all the necessary site functions to create your dream store.
- PrestaShop. An open-source eCommerce software offering robust product management functionality and analytics tools.
- Shopify. A popular option with a built-in abandoned cart recovery feature and SEO tools.
In addition to selling high-quality products, you’ll need to consider factors such as inventory, warehousing, packaging, and shipping. Make sure to take these into account when formulating a business plan.
Note that you may also need to obtain a business license depending on the type of business model you opt for. These may include registration certificates, local and federal permits, and a sales tax permit.
4. Start Dropshipping
Dropshipping is one of the most profitable business ideas you can start out. It’s a B2C business model where you sell products via an online store but a third-party supplier processes and fulfills the order.
It’s an easier alternative to running a standard eCommerce store since dropshipping doesn’t require the hassle of dealing with inventory and shipping.
Starting a dropshipping store is similar to a typical online store and involves choosing a niche and a platform to sell on. The key difference here is that dropshippers have to find the perfect supplier since this decision can make or break the business.
To help get you started, here are some websites where you can connect to reliable suppliers to start a dropshipping business:
- Spocket. Choose from thousands of suppliers worldwide and enjoy easy integrations with platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify.
- Modalyst. Curate your online store with products from different global suppliers and use their profit calculator to set prices.
- SaleHoo. Find low-cost dropshippers in different product categories and explore their community forum for dropshipping tips and tricks.
5. Create a Digital Course
Projected to reach $336.98 billion by 2026, the eLearning market is an excellent industry to enter if you excel in a particular subject and enjoy curating learning material.
Digital courses can come in different formats, from simple PDF downloads to YouTube videos. The most popular online course topics include computer skills, business and entrepreneurship, education, and personal development.
There are two primary ways to sell digital courses – by joining an eLearning platform or creating an eLearning website. The former is easier to do, but the latter provides more opportunities to experiment with different course formats and monetization methods.
Create an eLearning website with a WordPress LMS plugin, for example. Then, sell your online courses as digital products or create a membership system to lock them behind a paywall.
If you want to try out a few eLearning platforms before creating an eLearning site, consider the following options:
- Udemy. Supports quizzes, coding exercises, and discussion forums.
- Skillshare. Excellent for selling courses on digital art and creative skills.
- Uscreen. Ideal for video-based courses, like exercise and cooking tutorials.
- OpenSesame. Supports integration with many learning management systems (LMS) for better accessibility.
- Pathwright. Focuses on result-oriented courses with actionable steps.
6. Tutor Students Online
If selling digital courses isn’t your thing, but you’re still interested in teaching, consider becoming an online tutor.
Many students today actively look for remote lessons. That’s why many independent tutors offer their services via video communication apps like Zoom and Skype and accept payments through PayPal.
Earn money by giving on-demand lessons and providing personalized feedback. Note that being an online tutor means that you not only create lesson plans and learning modules, but you also need to keep track of the student’s progress.
Popular tutoring subjects include math, languages, and computer science, but make sure to evaluate your expertise when choosing a topic to teach. Also, consider obtaining certification to enhance your credibility as a tutor and improve the hire rate.
When you’re ready, join an online tutoring platform to start promoting your services. Here are five popular platforms for online tutoring:
- BitDegree. Create unlimited courses and manage your students’ progress easily.
- Skooli. Schedule lessons in advance or accept them whenever you’re online.
- TutorMe. Connects students with tutors based on their needs and preferences.
- TutorRoom. Offers virtual classroom features, like an online whiteboard, scheduling system, and modules.
- Preply. Tutor in different languages and set custom rates for your services.
7. Create a Membership Site
Creating a membership website is another great way to make money online if you want to run your own platform.
Membership sites make money by selling access to exclusive content through subscription plans. By having a tiered membership system, you divide each member’s privileges and determine which content they can access.
The subscription system makes for a robust revenue source, as members have to renew their plans to maintain access privileges. If you’re building a brand, a membership site can also help foster a potential customer base for upselling.
There are plenty of niche membership websites to take inspiration from. For example, Mark Manson and Magnetic Memory Method focus on self-improvement. Meanwhile, Smart Blogger offers tips on blogging and content writing.
After finding a niche that suits your interest, start developing the membership website. The easiest way to do this is with WordPress. Many excellent membership plugins offer all the tools necessary to create plans and accept transactions online.
8. Sell Advertising Space
Selling digital advertising space is one of the most common ways to monetize a website and earn passive income.
Ads are popular for high-traffic sites since revenue is measured based on clicks or user impressions. However, websites with low to medium traffic can also benefit from selling ad space.
Other important factors that advertisers look for include a website’s content category, audience demographics, and user devices. So, it’s vital to dedicate time to creating quality content and improving your site’s SEO strategies to attract advertisers.
To start selling ad space, sign up with an ad network like Google AdSense and simply embed the ad code in the site.
When choosing ad placements, keep in mind not to oversaturate the site since this can negatively affect user experience. Instead, we recommend using a heatmap software tool to determine the best ad placements for optimal conversions.
Here are some other advertising network options that you can sign up for:
- Adcash. Use an anti-block feature to bypass users’ ad blockers and obtain higher earnings.
- Propeller Ads. Supports multiple ad formats, including interstitial and push notifications.
- Media.net. Get exclusive access to the Yahoo! Bing network for keyword-targeted ads.
- Carbon Ads. A great option for technology and design-based ads.
9. Create a Subscription Job Board
With more and more employers turning to online hiring, job boards have great market potential.
There are two main ways you can make money online when creating a job board website. The first is to rent out space for employers to advertise their job listings. The second is to sell access to exclusive job listings to job seekers via a paid membership system.
For example, popular job board websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and ZipRecruiter charge employers fees for premium job post placements. Most of these sites base their pricing plans on factors such as posting period, in-depth company information, or reviews.
The easiest way to create this type of website is with a WordPress job board plugin. For example, WP Job Manager offers tools to submit and manage job listings code-free. If you want to restrict access to job postings, consider installing a membership plugin.
10. Buy and Flip Websites
The process of buying and selling websites is relatively simple.
After purchasing a site, optimize its content for search engines, generate revenue, then sell it for a profit. It’s an ideal money-making project for anyone who enjoys doing website design, improving SEO, and curating a great user experience.
Knowing which websites to buy and grow is essential since not all of them have future value. A good rule of thumb is to opt for ones that already generate revenue and traffic. Similarly, websites with a popular niche and a premium domain name are easier to sell at higher prices.
Here are a few marketplaces where you can find and purchase websites:
- Flippa. Offers a wide range of niche websites and a global network of buyers and sellers.
- Latona’s. Mainly promotes websites and online stores no younger than a year and with a minimum annual revenue of $20,000.
- Empire Flippers. Sells profitable websites that make over $1,000/month.
- SideProjectors. A platform to buy websites, eCommerce stores, apps, and domain names.
To avoid a bad investment, there are a few things to consider before purchasing a website.
The first is to ask for proof of concept and revenue and enquire about its current monetization methods. Then, check the site’s source of traffic and traffic volume – this is a good indicator of a website’s potential.
It’s also a good idea to ask about existing site issues and verify why the original website owner sold it in the first place. Also, ensure that you double-check the seller’s background and avoid buying sites from anonymous brokers.
11. Start a YouTube Channel
Starting a YouTube channel is one of the most popular ways to make money online. As the largest video-sharing platform worldwide, YouTube has a vast market of over 2 billion active users located in more than 100 countries.
There are multiple ways to earn from your YouTube channel, but the first step is to sign up for the YouTube Partner Program and ensure you’re eligible for monetization.
YouTube allows almost all types of content in various niches, from gaming reactions to daily vlogs. If you want to make money, however, you’ll have to invest some time and effort.
Growing a YouTube channel is similar to a blog, meaning you should publish content consistently to generate traffic and build an audience base. Investing in a good camera and video editing software to improve your video quality can also attract more viewers.
Also, don’t forget to practice YouTube SEO. It includes adding relevant keywords and tags to the video titles and optimizing video descriptions for search engines.
Aside from being a profitable venture, starting a YouTube channel can be beneficial for building a brand. Videos can generate leads, help redirect traffic to your website, and have a better return on investment than images, making them a great marketing tool.
12. Pick Up Freelance Gigs
Freelancing is a great way to make money at your own pace. As a freelancer, you have the power to choose clients as well as set your own work schedule and rate.
You can offer all kinds of freelance services. Some of the most sought-after freelance skills include web design and development, translating, accounting, and video production.
To help get you started, sign up for some of these best freelance websites and start scouting for gigs:
- Upwork. Focuses on large projects that require freelancers with specific skills.
- Freelancer. Ideal for freelancers looking for long-term projects.
- Guru. Find projects from small to middle-sized businesses.
If you want to improve your chances of landing high-paying projects, consider creating an online portfolio to supplement your profile on job marketplaces.
Additionally, make sure the pricing structure aligns with the time and effort required to finish each project.
13. Become a Website Developer
The first step to becoming a web developer is to choose a web development specialization. Doing so will save you time, money, and energy to learn the required skills and help you stand out from the competition.
Once you know which specialization to pursue, it’s time to learn how to code. Plenty of websites and courses can help you get started, such as:
- BitDegree. Offers beginner and advanced courses as well as scholarship opportunities.
- Coursera. Provides certified courses and specializations.
- Codecademy. Perfect for beginners who want short and interactive courses.
- Udemy. Choose from a wide range of on-demand courses in many languages.
If you’re thinking about transitioning to becoming a full-time web developer, consider participating in a coding boot camp like Alchemy Code Lab and Rithm School to enhance your career advancement opportunities.
14. Become a Graphic Designer
An average base salary of $48,283/year makes graphic design another high-paying career worth pursuing. Graphic designs are some of the most lucrative things you can make and sell online, especially for creative individuals.
The career path of a graphic designer is similar to a web developer. After narrowing down a specialization to pursue, the next step is to learn the required skills and software. Plenty of design courses are available on various eLearning platforms to help you get started.
For example, a web designer will need to study user experience, user interface, and the basics of HTML and CSS. Meanwhile, a logo designer should master color theory, typography, and design tools like Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW.
There are many online graphic design gigs circulating job boards. Here are some of the best places to look:
- DesignCrowd. Offers a wide range of projects for various mediums from logo and website to billboard design.
- Minty. Ideal for professional artists looking for collaborative projects.
- We Work Remotely. Find different types of remote design jobs.
- 99designs. Join other skilled freelancers providing high-end services.
15. Become a Content Writer
If you have a knack for writing, becoming a content writer is one of the best ways to earn money online. With an average pay of $50,109/year, content writing makes for a profitable side hustle or even full-time remote work.
In addition to writing skills, this career path requires SEO knowledge. Knowing the basics of HTML and CSS can also help format your writing, especially when working with a content management system like WordPress.
Many content writers have a website to showcase their writing skills and work portfolios. If your blog takes off, it’s also possible to make money by monetizing it.
Additionally, try your luck on job boards like Fiverr and Freelancer, where tons of freelance content writing gigs are available. Alternatively, join a content writing agency to get a steady flow of work.
Four of the best content writing agencies to work with are:
- Verblio. Offers all kinds of content types, from blog posts to press releases.
- SEOButler. This company seeks US and UK-based freelance writers.
- Express Writers. Has a massive network of clients worldwide.
- WebFX. Provides SEO, digital advertising, and social media advertising services.
16. Become a Video Game Streamer
Streaming has taken off in the past few years, attracting an average of over 2,700,000 viewers per week on Twitch alone. It’s an ideal way to make money if you’re good at playing video games and enjoy being in front of a camera.
Streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook offer partner programs that enable streamers to accept ad revenue and tips from their audience. Therefore, the amount of money you make depends on your following’s size.
Streamers with over a million followers can earn millions of dollars every year. For example, the Canadian streamer Shroud has an estimated net worth of between $8-12 million, with 9.8 million followers on Twitch.
Outside of streaming, video game streamers can also earn money from brand deals, sponsorships, and merchandise sales.
17. Become an Influencer
The continuous rise of social media has made influencer marketing a popular choice to make money online.
Like affiliate marketing, companies pay influencers with a large following to market their brands, products, and services. The main difference is that influencers aim to impact others’ buying decisions instead of simply bringing leads.
Like streamers, how much money influencers make significantly depends on their following.
However, the most critical aspect of being a profitable influencer is cultivating a personal brand and becoming a voice of authority and trendsetter within your niche. This will help attract sponsors and advertisers.
While many influencers originate from Instagram, you can take advantage of other platforms like YouTube and Twitter to build a following and create different types of content.
18. Offer Digital Marketing Services
Help business owners attract their target audiences and improve sales performance by offering marketing services, such as SEO strategies and social media management.
It’s a great way to make money if you’re already familiar with these concepts or want to develop your skills further.
SEO services, for example, can help site owners rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP), receive more traffic, and possibly generate leads. Some skills you should have to offer these services include copywriting, link building, and keyword research.
On the other hand, providing social media management services means you’re responsible for planning and executing marketing plans for better audience interaction and higher brand recognition.
An excellent social media manager should keep up with trends, identify a brand’s target audience, and track social media data for better campaign results.
Plenty of resources are available to help people learn SEO. Consider getting an SEO certificate from reputable platforms like SEMrush Academy or take a Google Analytics course to deepen your knowledge.
Similarly, take some social media marketing courses and familiarize yourself with the relevant tools, concepts, and strategies. You can find excellent resources on Coursera or enroll in a premium marketing course on Udemy.
When you’re ready to monetize your skills, offer your services on job marketplaces like Fiverr and Freelancer. If you’re looking to do this in the long term, consider applying to a marketing agency as a digital marketer.
19. Create an App
The world has gone mobile, and creating an app is one of the ways to profit from this rapid digitalization. Make money online by creating paid apps or selling them to other companies.
Alternatively, launch a free app and make money via in-app advertisements.
Creating an app as a side-hustle is also an excellent way to expand your skills if you already have some coding and web development knowledge.
These days, however, you don’t need specific technical skills to create an app. Here are a few picks of beginner-friendly app builders:
- Appy Pie. With over 3 million customers worldwide, this app builder has a simple three-step process to help you create an app with a great user experience. Pricing ranges from $16-$60/app/month.
- AppInstitute. Dubbing itself as an app builder for busy small business owners, this platform makes it easy to get started without coding knowledge. Pricing ranges from $59-$400/month.
- Mobincube. An intuitive app builder that enables you to launch an app in a few easy steps. They’re also one of the few that offer a free plan, but premium ones are also available.
To make a great app that people will want to use, follow the steps below:
- Get inspired. Consider creating surveys, conducting interviews, or running a focus group to find out what people are looking for in a new app.
- Conduct competitor research. Search existing competitor apps and read their reviews. Take note of what users like and dislike about them.
- Start building. Start coding or use an app builder to help with the process.
- Launch. Submit your app to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and wait for approval.
- Market and monetize. Follow some tried and tested marketing strategies and start making money.
20. Create a Podcast
Starting a podcast is one of the most profitable online business ideas today, especially with over 155 million people listening to podcasts every week.
If you already own a laptop or device with a built-in microphone, starting a podcast is easy. However, we do recommend investing in good audio equipment and software to improve recording quality.
All you need now is a topic to talk about and engaging communication skills – you can make a podcast about anything, from financial tips to true crime.
One thing that most podcasts have in common is that they primarily make money from sponsorships. Once your podcast has generated a following, consider signing up to production agencies like Podfly and Pacific Content to monetize it with ads.
Make sure to also promote the podcast on social media and other platforms, like your website. Using a podcast theme and an audio player on your site can further boost the podcast’s brand identity and discoverability.
21. Become a Travel Consultant
As soon as the pandemic border restrictions ease, people will want to start traveling again. The tourism industry will inevitably surge, resulting in higher demand for travel consultants.
A travel consultant makes arrangements for individuals and businesses by curating their clients’ ideal travel experience. It’s a job that can be done entirely online and is a great money-making option for well-traveled individuals or locals who love sharing the best spots in town.
The average base salary for a travel consultant is $75,992/year in the US, excluding tips. The benefits of this job include a flexible working schedule and opportunities to travel and network.
Start your career by getting familiar with popular travel platforms and travel management software. If you have the time and budget to spare, consider taking courses in tourism, hospitality, or even foreign languages to improve your opportunities.
Promote your services with a website and take inspiration from consultants like Wanderlust Travel Consultants and TravelBoecker Adventures. Alternatively, sign up to be a travel consultant or trip designer on platforms such as Reco.
22. Publish eBooks
The rise of self-publishing has made it possible for anyone to publish eBooks. It’s an excellent option for budding writers since eBooks are easy to produce and distribute since there are no printing or shipping costs.
To publish an eBook, submit your writing to a self-publishing platform. There are two types of publishing companies ‒ retailers and aggregators. The former sells books directly to customers, whereas the latter distributes them to retailers at additional costs.
The revenue you generate from eBooks depends on the publishing company’s royalty policy. For example, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing pays up to 70% royalties for books sold on Kindle stores worldwide.
Here are other eBook publication alternatives along with their royalty rates:
- Barnes and Noble Press (retailer). Offers 70% royalties for eBook sales.
- KOBO (retailer). Pays 70% royalties for eBooks priced $2.99 or more.
- Apple Books for Authors (aggregator). Offers 70% royalties for your eBook sales.
- Smashwords (aggregator). Takes a 10% commission when selling to other retailers and 15%-18.5% when selling on their website.
- Draft2Digital (aggregator). Earn 60% royalties from your eBook sales.
Before self-publishing an eBook, ensure that the formatting is correct and that your work is free from typos, grammatical errors, and plagiarism. You might also consider hiring a graphic designer to help create an appealing eBook cover.
23. Start Email Marketing Campaigns
‘As the number of email users is projected to surpass 4.5 billion in 2025, email marketing is a powerful tool to generate leads and turn your audience into customers.
The key to executing a successful email marketing campaign is to first build an email list. If you have a website, add a pop-up form with a personalized call-to-action on its landing page.
Other methods to encourage subscriptions include incentives like discounts, free shipping, giveaways, and pop-up surveys. The goal is to make visitors want to receive email updates about your business.
The next step is to start formulating and sending email newsletters. Platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact help curate and manage your campaigns while offering tools to track sales, engagement, and audience growth.
If your website runs on WordPress, try installing a newsletter plugin for better email automation and a more straightforward email-building process. Also, consider conducting periodical A/B testing to determine the best elements that’ll make an engaging email campaign.
24. Become a Virtual Assistant
If you enjoy organizing, planning, or doing administrative tasks, becoming a virtual assistant is a great way to make money online. As an independent contractor, a virtual assistant provides support services for individual clients or businesses.
Besides having the freedom to work remotely, becoming a virtual assistant requires minimal startup costs. Plus, you can earn an average annual pay of around $67,000/year.
Some skills to master as a virtual assistant include communication, time management, and writing.
Knowing how to operate tools and software for bookkeeping and project management are also important points. Some popular platforms that virtual assistants often use include Google Drive, Quickbooks, and Asana.
The easiest way to market your services is through online platforms like Fiverr and Freelancer. Alternatively, sign up with a virtual assistant company and work with verified clients.
25. Invest in Stocks
Investing in stocks is a great way to make passive income. Start by purchasing a share in a company and selling it back to the market once the stock’s value increases.
It can be tricky to start, but there are plenty of blogs, podcasts, and YouTube channels to help. They often provide insights, tips, and tricks into the best stock trading strategies.
The easiest way to buy stocks is through an online stockbroker, which facilitates transactions. Here are some top picks:
- E*TRADE. Ideal for long-term investors looking for zero minimum deposit.
- TD Ameritrade. A commission-free trading platform with excellent customer support.
- Fidelity Investments. Provides fractional shares, which enables investors with limited capital to partake in the stock market.
- Charles Schwab. Offers access to international markets.
How to Choose the Best Way to Make Money Online
Now that we’ve explored the 35 best ways to make money online, it’s time for you to narrow down the options.
Realistically, most people won’t opt for more than three choices. To help you make a decision, evaluate the following factors:
- Effort. Consider how much time it’s necessary to invest into this new venture and whether you have the required skills or experience.
- Cost. If you’re thinking about choosing one of the long-term options, consider whether you have the budget to launch an online business.
- Interest. Don’t choose what to sell online just because it seems like easy money ‒ it’s important to opt for a venture you have a genuine interest in.
- Potential. Consider the monetary potential of your chosen idea and whether it can be truly profitable in the long run.
In this article, we covered several options on how to make money online. As there are plenty of business ideas to choose from, be sure to pick the one best suited for your financial situation, skills, and passion.
If you want to sell products online, consider starting an online store. Auction second-hand clothes, self-made designs, and stock photos if you only have limited capital. Alternatively, adopt the dropshipping business model and source products from a third-party supplier.
Professionals wanting to monetize their skills may offer tutoring services and online courses to gain profit. Web development, graphic design, content writing, and SEO are a few among many competencies with high employment and salary rates.
Since not everyone can commit to a full-time job, freelance gigs may suit your preferences better. Start a podcast or become a streamer if you love engaging with the audience, or try doing voice-over work.
Alternatively, experiment with blogging and monetize the website with ads to generate passive revenue.
Regardless of your choice, be ready to work hard and dedicate yourself to your goals. Good luck.
What’s next? Read our detailed guide on how to sell online to learn how to create, grow and manage the website for your idea.
Make Money Online FAQ
How to Make Money in GTA 5 Online?
To make money through GTA 5 online, you can create your own channel and start streaming your gameplay on Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Facebook Gaming, or Streamlabs. On average, successful streamers make $3,000-$5,000/month, receiving higher pay as their subscribers increase.
How Can I Make $1000 Online?
The most realistic ways to make $1000 online include starting a website or a blog, developing an online business, becoming a freelancer, or investing in stocks as they generate more stable income in the long run.
How to Make Money as a Teenager?
As a teenager, you can make money by babysitting, tutoring kids, selling crafts online, or taking up minor jobs. Just make sure to read and understand child labor laws before you sign up for a job.
How Do You Make Money on TikTok?
You can start making money on TikTok as long as you’re at least 18 years old and have 10,000 followers and more than 100,000 video views in the last 30 days. A Tiktok creator can earn $22-$32/post and make much more through product placement, sponsors, or donations.