From crowdfunding to playing internet poker, there are plenty of get-rich-quick schemes on the web. Don’t be fooled because these get-rich-quick schemes aren’t going to get you the steady stream of income that you want. If you want to ditch your 9-5 job, there are some legitimate methods to making money online.
People are making some real dough online. You could be the next freelance whiz, savvy digital marketer, or Amazon seller. There’s no end to the list of business ideas you can implement with just your laptop and a steady internet connection.
In this post, you’re going to find out legitimate ways you can make money online and fall prey to get-rich-quick schemes that will get you nowhere. Let’s get to it!
28 Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online
1. Start a Print on Demand business.
If you’re interested in visual arts or have a real penchant for graphic design, a POD business is the way to go. You can print your designs on various products (like shirts and mugs) and make a fortune with your online store.
A POD business is an excellent way to monetize your art. Only you can come up with your designs, and that’s what makes them so valuable.
You don’t even have to house your inventory in your space or ship your products yourself. There are platforms that will do that for you for a fee. Sites like Printful and Printify can even add your logo to your packages before they make their way to your customers for better brand recognition.
The shipping costs can be quite high, though. You’ll have to charge higher prices or sell higher quantities to make your POD business sustainable. It will take some real work.
If you live in the US, Canada, or Europe, you can start with Printful and Printify right away without having to worry about complicated shipping. If you already have designs, you’re well on your way to create a unique clothing or product line.
So how do you promote your POD business to make money online? Use free marketing channels. You can always promote your stuff on Instagram and Pinterest for free. Once you get a sizable following on these platforms, it’ll be easy for you to convert your audience into buyers.
With so many virtual shops popping up here and there, you’ll have to work out to get your brand out there. By generating organic traffic over time, your products will fly off their virtual shelves in no time.
2. Start a YouTube channel.
Believe it or not, the highest-paid YouTuber is a 9-year-old boy named Ryan Kaji. By reviewing toys on his YouTube channel, his current net worth is $32 million. Yeah, you could say he’s figured out how to make money online. Of course, the child had a little help from his parents, but that kid can currently fund his great-great-great-grandkids’ college tuition. He’s not even of legal age yet.
Another high earner on YouTube is makeup mogul Jeffree Star, who made $15 million dollars last year alone. He uses his channel to boost his cosmetics brands. It took him quite some time to get to this level, with his humble beginnings tracing back to Myspace.
If you plan on starting a YouTube channel, you should make sure you’re well within a lucrative niche and start building a loyal audience. The most common videos on YouTube are:
- Product reviews
- Prank videos
- Video essays
- Weight loss
- Health and lifestyle
- Comedy (Skits and Lists)
You need to make videos on something that you’re truly passionate about; otherwise, your interest will fizzle out. The key to YouTube success is to make videos with educational or entertainment value.
If you look around YouTube, successful channels use catchy titles optimized with the right keywords to make them more visible. They also take the time to spruce up their thumbnails too. You can start earning money from your YouTube channel once you reach the threshold of 1,000 subscribers. Then, you’re allowed to monetize your videos with ads officially. But you can also gain YouTube sponsorships well before reaching this mark.
3. Make money online as an affiliate marketer.
Many people have made a fortune with affiliate marketing. I’m sure your favorite content creators endorse or recommend products every once in a while. They are being paid to do so. Sometimes, companies who sponsor them require that they disclose this fact.
Affiliate marketing is one of the more stable ways you can make money online because you can always find a company to work with as long as you have a pristine reputation on the internet.
With affiliate marketing, you essentially make a living by touting products by other brands. If you make use of your savvy marketing skills, there’s no limit to how much you can earn in commissions.
Of course, you’ll be promoting products that are relevant in your niche. For example, let’s say you run a beauty blog. Companies can pay you to promote skin care products, makeup, toiletries, and home goods.
I advise you to work with multiple companies because there’s no reason to limit yourself to one. You can pepper in affiliate links from several companies on a single blog post, boosting its profitability.
If you’re dead set on making affiliate marketing your primary source of income, focus on improving the quality of your content. For example, building a blog with several pages of high-quality content will attract more companies that will want to work with you. Your content is your primary asset here.
What I like most about content marketing is that it doesn’t matter if the companies you work with shut down. You can always swap out dead affiliate links for better ones, increasing your chances of making even more money.
4. Offer online courses.
Of course, you’ll have to make one first. You can bank on your knowledge or expertise by sharing it with others for a price. Creating and selling a course is fairly straightforward, thanks to sites like Udemy. If you have your own website, you can always offer your courses there. I know a guy who makes over $5,000 a month with only one of his courses.
To have people scrambling to take your courses, you need to watch your competition first. Find out how they conduct their classes and the kind of feedback that they get from their audience. Figure out which aspects the people appreciate and improve upon them when you start making your course. Then look at the negative reviews that they get and make sure you eliminate those problems.
How much money you can make depends on where you sell your courses. On Udemy, you wouldn’t even have to promote your courses that much. You could recommend them to your audience in your blog for good measure.
If you’re going to host your course on your website, it would be best to run ads to get more people to take it. Work on building a mailing list to consistently tell your audience about your activities and future content. That’s a surefire way to make money online.
5. Start dropshipping.
I’ve done my research, and according to Google Trend, dropshipping is a popular and viable way to make money online. I’ve read plenty of stories about people making 4-5 figures in a matter of weeks by selling only one product. Imagine having a whole line of products that people are itching to get their hands on.
Like I said before, with the POD business, dropshipping is a business model where you sell products to your customers, but another company stores, packs, and sends the products on your behalf.
You can use sites like Oberlo dropshipping, which gives you access to millions of products to fill up your virtual store. With the platform’s toolkit, you can customize product images, descriptions, and the overall design of your store, which will set you apart from your competitors.
How do you make more money with a dropshipping business? First, I encourage you to employ a couple of online marketing strategies like running Facebook ads. You can also get in touch with the influencers in your niche and pay them to promote your products. If you want to be thorough, you could always send emails and direct messages to potential customers within your audience.
6. Publish an eBook.
Is your dream to publish your own book? Well, it’s now easier than ever. With Amazon KDP, you can publish and promote eBooks that you’ve written. You can even format and design covers within the platform.
I wrote a couple of eBooks back in my day, which used to be available on Amazon. The endeavor didn’t have me swimming in dough, but I still managed to earn a pretty penny from it.
If writing isn’t in your wheelhouse, you can always outsource the job to more capable people. You can hire a writer, a graphic designer (for the cover), and a freelancer to format the book. If you do it right, you don’t have to pay much capital to have a good quality eBook to sell.
If you don’t know what your eBook should be about, I suggest that you look up the most popular keywords based on popular searches on Amazon and start there. I use keyword tools to figure out phrases on which to base my titles on.
To make decent money selling eBooks online, you have to promote in a couple of ways. First, you should make your eBook available for free for a few days. Free content always gets top billing in search results rankings. Give it the time to garner some reviews.
Second, go on Pinterest and make a pin promoting your eBook. Don’t just pin its cover and make a pin that looks like it belongs on the platform. I got a lot of traffic to my eBook’s landing page by putting up effective pins about it on Pinterest.
7. Be an influencer.
Influencers have to establish a brand before they start raking in a lot of money. You might think that you have to be a reality star, actor, musician, or athlete to become an influencer, but that’s not the case. Small-scale influencers who are relatively unknown in the grand scheme of things manage to earn decent amounts of money by working with companies.
With a healthy brand comes a loyal following. Where can you build a loyal following quickly? YouTube and Instagram. Non-celebrity influencers often rely on these platforms to maximize their exposure to their target audiences. Of course, having an audience on one of these platforms is enormously beneficial in the pursuit of making money online.
Influencers make their money by publishing sponsored posts, giving talks, setting up their own stores, adding affiliate links everywhere, selling ads, being brand ambassadors, writing books, appearing at events, and more. They’re essentially celebrities in their own right, and companies, big and small, will pay them for their recommendations.
8. Make money online as a freelancer.
Do you want to replace your 9-5 job with something more fulfilling? An excellent place to start is working from home. You can work as a writer, virtual assistant, graphic designer, software developer, tutor, etc., out of the comfort of your own home. You can market whatever skill you have on the internet and get paid for your services.
Freelancing is not limited to the shortlist I provided above. You can get a pretty clear idea of what kind of freelance jobs you can do on sites like Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork.
How do you make money as a freelancer? You have to build a strong portfolio containing your best work. In the process of building your portfolio, you may have to do some pro bono work for some reputable brands. The time that you dedicate to this initial work would be your investment in this venture.
After you build an impressive array of work, you can now reach out to bigger potential clients to earn more money. Freelancing is a numbers game. The more pitches you send out, the more chances you’ll get for high-paying gigs.
9. Start a blog.
Blogging is one of the oldest ways to make money online. If you love to write and share your knowledge about certain topics, start a blog with a niche focus. For example, you can write about gardening, cars, makeup, etc. These topics are narrow enough to form a tight community but wide enough to cover a lot of ground.
There are plenty of platforms where you start blogging. You can even blog on Shopify if you remove the checkout feature. This way, you don’t have to pay a subscription as you flesh it out. Then there’s WordPress, the most popular blogging platform out there.
If you don’t know where to start with your blog, find the most popular keywords in your niche with a tight focus. Use these keywords as topics for posts. Eventually, you can expand these topics by building relevant categories. Build your blog carefully and publish only high-quality posts.
It’s also best to allot time and effort into the design of your blog. Making a good impression on your first-time visitors is crucial. Again, if Design is not in your wheelhouse, you can always outsource the job to someone else. It’s okay to pay someone for their services if the result is bound to make you more money anyway.
There are several ways you can monetize your blog. The first way is to add affiliate links to your post. You can have many affiliate links in one post as long as you don’t overdo it. Second, you can display ads in your blog and get paid by signing up for AdSense.
Some companies will sponsor you for writing reviews on their products. You can make a lot of money by promoting other brands as well. If you have digital or physical products to sell, advertise them on your site to have multiple revenue streams.
Lastly, a well-established blog cements your position in your niche because it builds authority. Sooner than later, you’ll be a highly regarded person in your industry if you consistently publish quality content. If you have a positive reputation online, you can even get paid for speaking gigs and TV deals.
10. Do translation work.
If you’re fluent in two or more languages, translation work is definitely worth checking out. Being a translator on the internet is an excellent way to make use of your language minor or major. I have to say that translation work doesn’t get enough attention.
To start work as a translator, you’ll need to prove your ability to translate accurately. If you have a degree in some language or you’ve had previous experience translating text, be sure to include it in your portfolio. Many companies will also require you to go through some testing. Please don’t think you can cheat translation jobs by using translation tools. You actually need to be fluent.
If translation work seems like the right fit for you, check out People Per Hour, Gengo, SDL, Pro Translating, and Translators Base to get started.
11. Make money online by being a writer.
I already mentioned freelance work above, and that includes writing, but I think this deserves its own section. Writing is one of the most in-demand jobs right now because of companies’ growing interest in content marketing.
To be a profitable writer, you need to be an expert in a niche. You might think that it’s better to be able to write about a wide range of topics, but a niche focus gets you higher-paying writing gigs.
Why? When you’re an expert in your niche, you can add your unique perspective to your work, making it more valuable. Companies are willing to pay more for pieces that aren’t like any other post online. They want content that has real thoughts, opinions, and inside information into their niche.
When applying for jobs as a writer, make sure you send the right writing samples. If you’re asked to submit a marketing article, don’t send one about finance or fitness.
Naturally, you lower your chances of getting hired when you give a hiring manager an irrelevant writing sample. Only apply for opportunities that match your skills and experience; otherwise, you’re going to get rejected a lot. In sending pitches, make sure to include links to your writing samples to avoid getting ignored.
12. Drive for cash.
If you own a car, you can make some money by driving for Uber or as a delivery person. You could still make deliveries if you only have a bike or a moped. Some people who work for Uber try to make more money by turning their vehicles into mobile advertisements with Free Car Media. Free Car Media will wrap your car with a removable vinyl decal.
If you’re really tenacious, you can also sell products to your fares. You’ll often try to make conversation with your passengers anyway. You might as well give them a reason to give you more money.
How do you make money fast by driving/? Showcase your products to your passengers and have a side hustle. For example, you can sell snacks and drinks. Not all of your customers will be interested, but it’s better to have the opportunity to make more money from those who are. Even if your fare can’t pay you with cash, you can always ask them to pay through Uber’s tip function.
13. Make an app.
You’re probably going to skip this one if you’re not a software developer, don’t. There is a way for you to make an app without having any programming skills, and that is to find developers to create it for you.
You can often find freelancers to make apps for reasonable prices. You can then add your app to Google Play and the App Store for free. Sure, it may seem counterintuitive, but offering a free app can actually make you more money than a paid one. How?
First, it will attract a higher volume of downloaders, giving you a higher chance for conversions. You can add ads and paywalled features to encourage people to fork over some payment.
14. Stream games on Twitch.
Many gamers make money on Twitch by streaming their gameplay while making commentary. You’ll have to build a solid following on Twitch before you can expect to make some money. If you’re consistent with your streaming schedule, you can broaden your audience pretty fast.
First, decide on a game that isn’t overly competitive so that your content will stand out more. Then establish a persona as a gamer. Are you going to be funny, calm, sexy? While you play games, you can establish a relationship with your viewers through the chat feature.
How do you monetize your Twitch channel? Twitch can be even more lucrative than YouTube, so get your game on. You can get brand sponsorships, play Twitch ads, receive fan donations, sell products, and get more subscribers. You’ll want to focus on all five of these monetization methods to maximize your earnings.
15. Have side hustles.
Side gigs can help supplement your primary current source of income. Maybe you’re not confident enough to leave your full-time job in this economy, and that’s perfectly valid. You can still make a couple of hundred dollars a month by taking on side gigs on the internet. Opportunities for side gigs are fleeting, making them ideal short-term work.
You can use platforms like Fiverr to offer your skills to people. As you start out on the platform, make sure you offer your services at lower prices to garner positive reviews quickly. If you have a friend or a family member who can leave you a review, it would be even better. Still do your best when you work for this friend and add your initial work to your portfolio to attract more clients.
Increase your chances of earning more on Fiverr by having multiple gigs available like Fiverr’s top users. The more skills you offer, the more likely you’ll be discovered. If you’re not interested in getting paid in Fiverr prices or you only want to get paid through contract jobs, you can always look at opportunities at FlexJobs. You can write, design, conduct SEO, do accounting, and telecommute. Telecommuting opportunities on FlexJobs are a dime a dozen because companies can hire applicants from all over the world.
Whether you have multiple modern skills or one traditional skill, there’s always something you do on the internet to get paid. You don’t have to be resigned to your current stream of income.
16. Tutor people to make money online.
You can make decent money online by sharing your knowledge and skills with others as an online tutor. Build up a client base by spreading the word around that you’re offering classes. The highest-paid subjects to teach are English, Science, and Math. If you’re particularly knowledgeable in one of those subjects, tutoring could be the perfect money-making method for you.
To get hired as an online tutor, you have to showcase your degree or some other proof that you’re qualified to teach that subject. Of course, you increase your chances of getting hired if you have a teaching degree as well. Experience in public speaking, teaching and mentoring will look good in your CV too.
If you think online tutoring is the right fit for you, you can start looking for jobs at Tutor Me, Chegg Tutors, Yup, and Cambly. Focus on finding jobs that match your field of expertise.
17. Sell your stuff.
If you’re desperate and you need money right now, your only option could be to sell stuff online. Many people use this method if they’re struggling with unemployment. You can find buyers on platforms like Craigslist and eBay, or you go the traditional route and head over to a pawn shop.
I assume you’re really strapped for cash, so make sure to charge the buyer the shipping costs because those can get expensive, especially if you’re shipping internationally.
Back in the day, you could unload stuff that you don’t really need anymore, like books and CDs. However, it’s 2021, and no one wants to buy those things anymore. Don’t waste your time by putting up books and CDs for sale unless they’re rare collector’s items.
If you want to make money fast, you have to let go of stuff that is currently valuable, like phones, laptops, TVs, designer handbags, clothes, and furniture. To find a buyer quickly, post the same item on multiple platforms. For example, you can post the same laptop on Facebook Marketplace and on Instagram at the same time. Remember, the more visible your product, the higher the chances of it getting sold.
Take high-quality photos of your products and edit them. If you look at big-time online stores, their product photos look professional and edited. They often hire photographers to take great photos, and those photos are enhanced even more. The background is often cropped out.
Try to post products like a professional online retailer. Even if you don’t own high-end photography equipment, you can take pretty decent photos with a new-ish smartphone.
18. Make money online selling photos.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make money with your snapshots. That’s right, you can monetize your photos even if you’re a hobbyist.
You can sell stock photos or specialty photos (even feet pics) on various platforms. You don’t even need a high-end camera to sell photos. If all you have is a good quality camera on your phone, you can still sell pictures on Foap.
19. Take a job as a virtual assistant.
These days, businesses are popping up left and right on the internet, which is why virtual assistants are so in demand right now. Virtual assistants essentially act like secretaries. You can be tasked to write, process orders, bookkeep, post on social media, and communicate with customers.
You can find work as a VA on Virtual Assistant Jobs, Indeed, or Upwork. If you’re feeling lucky, you can always reach out to brands and companies you like on the off chance that they could use a VA. By finding work through both these methods, you’re likely to make some good money quickly.
20. Make money online selling your clothes.
If you have clothes that you’re never going to wear anymore, maybe it’s time to declutter your closet and put them to good use. Buyers will sell used apparel like clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories to be thrifty.
Upload photos of fashion items that you want to sell on Poshmark, Refashioner, TheRealUp, ThredUp, and Tradesy. If you want to look for one or two private buyers, you can go on Facebook Marketplace and make negotiations there.
21. Invest in stocks.
If you’re not knowledgeable in picking stocks, you may want to skip this option. If you are, then you probably know you can make money fast by investing in the right companies. I also won’t recommend this option if you’re struggling financially. However, if you could use the extra cash and are willing to put up some of the money you have to gain it, then go for it. Remember that investing can result in money loss if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Where is a good place to start? If you have a regular office job, look into your company’s financial programs. If they allow you to invest in stocks, I recommend signing up for it. Company stock programs are advantageous in that you carry some of the company’s influence.
22. Sell domains.
Selling domains can be a lucrative way to make money online, albeit a somewhat competitive one. You can make money if you own and sell one-word .com domains or domains that contain high search volume keywords. Buying and selling domains will never go out of style because you can’t predict what domains will trend in the future.
Where do you buy and sell domains? The most popular platforms for such a business are Shopify’s domain registration and GoDaddy’s domain auction. You’ll see which domains are in demand because they have more bids. Of course, you also have to understand whether your domains are worth selling or not and how much money you can sell them for.
23. Review sites, apps, and software.
Companies will pay you money to test their product’s User Experience. You can earn a minimum of $10 for reviewing sites, apps, and software because entrepreneurs often want feedback. How does this work? You have to go through a set of questions while you browse a site or use the software.
You’ll have to record yourself stating your opinions and ideas addressed to the company as you use their product. These videos are usually only 20 minutes in length, so you can make a minimum of $30 an hour if you manage to make three.
However, you have to act fast whenever a site or an app gets put for reviews. If you want to start reviewing, Software Judge is an excellent place to start.
24. Be a TikTok consultant.
Becoming a TikTok consultant is one of the hottest new ways to make money online. Brands will reach out to you for video brainstorming, bio creation, and other services. It’s the ideal money-making tool for hip people because you can do all of this from your phone.
TikTok is still relatively young and untapped compared to Instagram, so having marketers increase brand recognition on the platform could improve their trajectory. Before you become a TikTok consulate, you’ll need to have a few skills. The most crucial skill is to understand how to make viral videos that will encourage people to interact with brands.
25. Make money online selling your designs.
Graphic design is a fantastic skill that can be used to make money in a variety of ways. You can sell products by creating personalized merchandise using the POD business model I described before. You can also submit your designs to a crowdsourcing website like 99 Designs, GraphicRiver, and Creative Market.
If you want something more table, you can apply as an in-house graphic designer for companies that you like.
26. Master the art of couponing.
When your budget is a little low, discounts will help you save a few dollars here and there. Sites like Coupon Chief can save the day by helping you make some money online. These platforms have a Pay to Share feature in which you can earn a percentage of sales from coupons if you put them up on their platform.
You’ll have to add those coupons that haven’t been shared yet. In exchange, you’ll get a commission of 2%-3%, which is not bad.
It’s a lot like affiliate marketing in that you share referral links and get paid in return. It’s a legitimate way to make money online, and couponing sites are known to pay their affiliates on a daily basis. For example, Coupon Chief has now paid its users over $1.4 million already.
27. Sell greeting cards.
You’d have a simple way of making money online if you have a knack for picking the right greeting cards for various occasions. However, I don’t advise you to make your services available to everyone because that’s not a smart business strategy. What you could do instead is start a greeting card company that caters to a certain demographic.
You might, for example, create greeting cards for C-level executives who want to thank their Senior Vice Presidents for making profitable choices the previous year. Your cards can be that niche.
Alternatively, you might want to make cards for healthcare providers to thank their patients for choosing their facility. You can use an online graphic tool like Photoshop or Canva to create the cards. These apps make it simple to create attractive greeting cards that can brighter anyone’s day.
28. Get a part-time job.
When you’ve done whatever you can to make quick money but are still unable to bulk up your bank account, you’ll have to take on a part-time job. Many of the money-making solutions on this post are excellent for slow implementation. They can also be very competitive in the long run.
If you’re having trouble making ends meet, you could always look for a part-time career that’s already in your field. You can start looking for jobs at Indeed and Monster. I hope these money-making ideas motivate you to take action, whether you’re trying to make an additional few hundred dollars a month or build a profitable six-figure brand.
Conclusion: How to Make Money Online The Easy Way
Making money online will help you supplement your income while also allowing you to quit your 9-5 job to pursue your dream of being a full-time entrepreneur. You achieve more financial independence, increase your financial stability, and get closer to enjoying life on your own terms by sizing up your net worth.
It’s possible to make a living online if you put in the effort and persevere. So, which one of these money-making ventures are you going to try out first?
Psst…Our recommendation? E-Commerce is a pretty good bet.