Who isn’t interested in finding out how to earn money online? Sounds easy enough.
Yet despite the numerous online money-making opportunities available, it can be difficult to sort out the legitimate methods from the scams.
Once you do, however, you’ll be able to make anywhere from a few extra bucks a month to a sizeable part-time income, depending on how much time you dedicate to online work (and the type of work you choose to do).
Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a student, currently unemployed, or just need some extra cash, our ultimate guide below shows you the top ten ways how to earn money online.
1. Create a Website
Making it profitable takes work, but the potential payout is huge.
While it’s not nearly as easy as other methods outlined on this list, creating a website has the highest ceiling. In other words, the amount of money you can potentially earn is limitless.
The high possible payout of creating a website comes with a downside: creating a (profitable) website is difficult.
Even those knowledgeable about website creation won’t receive a payday right away. Most websites earn money slowly.
You put in a lot of time and effort upfront “for free.” If you keep at it for a few months though, you’ll likely see the money start pouring in.
Builder Society has an excellent Digital Strategy Crash Course for those that want a thorough introduction to making money from a website.
One of the best ways to make money online is undoubtedly blogging.
Though it’s similar to creating a website (and, if you create a website, it should probably have a blog too), it’s slightly different when it boils down to it.
The main difference between a blog and website is content creation. A website can be profitable with largely static content. A blog, on the other hand, needs to be constantly updated to engage users and be successful.
That’s why choosing a blogging topic that you’re passionate about is so important. It’s a lot easier to update your blog content on a regular basis when you enjoy what you’re writing about.
As far as creating blog content goes, focus on creating useful content that brings value to your audience.
You should also focus on establishing a social media presence for your blog and consider guest posting on popular blogs in your niche.
Still, though, the same negatives for creating a website hold true for blogging: you won’t see a profit right away. Blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Despite this slight negative, the barrier for entry for blogging is extremely low, making it a good choice for anyone interested in an online side income.
Another interesting option is starting a video blog. With the popularity of YouTube, “vlogging” is becoming an increasingly effective way to earn a little extra cash.
ProBlogger is an excellent resource for those that truly want to make money blogging.
Not interested in creating your own website or blog? Then why not try your hand at freelancing.
Freelancing is one of the most popular ways how to earn money online. It also holds unlimited possibilities.
Though freelancing is a great way to make some extra cash or a small side income, many people can turn freelancing into a full-time job.
So, what exactly does freelancing entail? It depends on the service you provide.
Some of the most popular freelance services include web development, graphic design, writing, and online marketing.
Pick the service you’re most comfortable/experienced with and get started today. Building a steady clientele takes time, but popular websites like Freelancer and Upwork make finding your first couple of gigs that much easier.
Though some people make a full-time living from these freelancing websites, it’s usually best to (at least partially) branch off on your own and look for your own clients.
Finding private clients is the key to making big bucks with freelancing. High-paying gigs can certainly be found on freelancing websites, but they’re few and far between – plus, the competition is fierce.
Indeed, that’s the biggest negative to freelancing. So many people are doing it that many clients try to get away with paying the bare minimum to new freelancers.
Keep your head up, however, learn as much as possible about what it takes to be a successful freelancer, and you’re sure to put more than a little money in your bank account before long.
4. Sell Skills
There’s a ton of different services available that help you sell your skills online.
Though selling skills are similar to freelancing, it’s much more low-key. Instead of treating it like a business, you can do it just to make a little pocket change.
Also, you can sell just about any skills online. You can even sell things that no one in their right mind would consider a skill.
These out-there skills are things like prank phone calls, sending texts to someone pretending to be in love with them, releasing balloons into the sky with a message on them – the options are endless.
One of the best places to find these odd requests is on Fiverr. The service enables you to sell just about any service for $5 each.
The strange offerings outlined above aren’t the only type of skills sold on Fiverr.
You can also sell more standard skills that span the realm of graphics, design, writing, video, animation, music, programming, and so much more.
For instance, visit the Graphic and Design section of Fiverr, and you’ll see offerings that include logo design, business card design, book cover design, banner ads, and more.
$5 per “gig” might not sound like a lot, but it quickly adds up if you keep at it. A lot of people make hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars solely from Fiverr.
The Penny Hoarder has an excellent resource for those interested in using Fiverr to learn how to make money on the Internet.
5. Sell Stuff
If you’re wondering how to earn money online by selling some things, we’ll show you.
There are two main ways you can do this: sell stuff you already have or make stuff specifically to sell.
If you go the selling-stuff-you-already-have route, ideas include old DVDs, CDs, video games, clothing, shoes, jewelry, college textbooks, and books – you can sell just about anything online.
Heck, even posting items for sale on your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter can have surprisingly good results.
Etsy is targeted towards arts and crafts while Amazon doesn’t have a specific niche of items that it stocks and sells.
If you’re making items to sell online, one of the biggest keys to success is taking great pictures of each item.
Of course, the items themselves must be good quality, but you’ll have few interested buyers if your pictures don’t show the items off in their full glory.
Learn more about how to make money with Etsy from The Penny Hoarder.
6. Online Bookkeeping
Working as an online bookkeeper is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to earn money online.
Like all the other methods of earning money on this list, online bookkeeping isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s hard work and must be treated like a job.
As an online bookkeeper, your job is to keep records of the finances of the businesses that employ you. Unlike a traditional bookkeeper, you can do this 100% remotely, from the comfort of your own home.
The greatest thing about online bookkeeping is that it doesn’t take much to get started. Other than actually tracking down gigs, the only real requirement is having decent computer skills.
A variety of helpful programs and courses make learning the ropes of online bookkeeping a cinch.
Another great thing about online bookkeeping is that it can be similar to a real job. Though it can be done as a side gig or a part-time job, many people can transition into full-time work (and make great money doing so).
Ready to dive into things right away and hunt down your first gig? Just like with freelancing, Upwork is a decent place to start your job search.
7. Online Customer Service
Like bookkeeping, another job that is increasingly outsourced to remote workers is customer service.
Instead of working in-house at a business or a call center, many customer service representatives perform all their duties from home.
And it makes sense – the environment is quiet and comfortable. There are fewer distractions. All you need to perform the job well is a phone, a computer, and an Internet connection.
A multitude of different online customer service positions are available. The most common is, of course, customer service, where you spend your days answering customer questions over the phone or via live online chat.
Those that are tech-savvy, or know a little something about the business in question, might even be able to find a technical support job, which often pays better.
Finally, at the highest level of the online customer service food chain is sales. Find a work-from-home sales gig for a high chance of making big bucks online from home.
Once again, the downside to this job is obvious. Working as an online customer service representative is much like a real job.
On the other hand, the fact that it’s a real job is a benefit to many. Those looking to get a full-time online job should look seriously at online customer service as an option.
8. Test Websites
Not everyone wants to put in the work required to start a blog or website, freelance, or work remotely for a company.
A lot of people out there are simply wondering how to earn money online without putting in a whole lot of effort.
That’s where testing websites come into the picture. Numerous platforms, including the popular User Testing, pay you to do just that.
After downloading the software, the platform notifies you when websites are available to be tested.
Select an assignment from these notifications and get to work. Your screen, as well as spoken comments, are recorded as a video, so your thoughts, mouse movements, clicks, and keystrokes can be evaluated.
After using the website for a few minutes, you’ll be asked to answer several questions. These are all designed to help the website owner better tailor the user experience.
User Testing pays around $10 per assignment. Most assignments don’t take much more than 10 minutes to complete.
Though there’s not an endless supply of assignments available, there’s no denying that testing websites is a decent way to make some extra cash.
9. Fix Search Engine Results
If you’re still asking “how can I make money online,” and you haven’t yet found your answer, maybe fixing search engine results is for you.
Most search engines hire independent contractors to check that their search engine results are as relevant as possible.
Though these search engines utilize complicated algorithms to decide the results, it’s important to still have a human user check them on a regular basis.
So-called search engine evaluators look at these results and score them on quality, relevancy, and usefulness. Your feedback is used to fine-tune both the algorithms and the results.
In addition to the search engine companies hiring search engine evaluators directly, several other platforms pay people to fix search engine results.
So, what exactly does working as a search engine evaluator entail?
A day in the life of the job is going through a list of search engine queries in a variety of search engines and evaluating the results.
Though fixing search engine results is a decent way to make money online, the work seems irregular at best. One week you might find 25+ hours of work, the next there might be no work available at all.
10. Take Online Surveys
When considering how to earn money online, paid online surveys get a bad reputation sometimes. And for a good reason – there’s a lot of scam surveys out there.
Weed through the scams, however, and you’ll find more than a fair share of legitimate companies that pay online users to take surveys from home.
You’re not going to rake in the dough by taking online surveys, but they can be a nice way to make a little money with almost zero thought.
Sign up for a survey company, turn on the TV, veg out on the couch, and answer a few questions. That’s all you have to do to make a little money taking online surveys.
How much can you make from online surveys? Most of them, especially those that are easy to find, only pay around $1 per survey.
Yet the fact that each survey only takes a few minutes to complete means that you can pull in at least $100 extra a month with barely any work.
If you decide to work for a company other than these two, do your research first to make sure they’re trustworthy. Checking the Better Business Bureau is one of the top ways to do this.
Other Ways to Earn Money Online
The ten ways to earn money online outlined above are the best of the best.
None of them click with you? There’s a lot of less common online money-making methods available.
These include helping others find better jobs with myRefers and connecting buyers with suppliers with Share-A-Sale.
Swagbucks will pay you to watch movies and videos, installing certain apps can earn you money instantly, and it’s even possible to sign up for free gift cards.
Keep in mind that, compared to the ten methods outlined above, most of these money-making methods have low ceilings.
In other words, you might make money easily, but you’re probably not going to make a lot.
How To Earn Money Online – Additional Tips
Anyone can learn how to earn money online, but it’s not exactly easy.
It’s important to remember that actually earning good money – not just a dollar here and a dollar there – takes hard work and dedication.
Also, as we’ve stated several times already, earning decent money online usually doesn’t happen overnight. You must put in weeks of hard work – especially when creating a website or a blog – before your efforts are rewarded.
With that in mind, here are a few additional tips that will help you make even more money if you’re going the website creation, blogging, or freelancing route:
- Treat it Like a Job – You aren’t going to earn much money online if you don’t take it seriously. Make sure to do your best work as the quality of your work will reflect back on you later on.
- Commit Enough Time – Set aside a certain amount of time each week to your new online gigs. Increase your earnings even more by sticking to a set work schedule.
- Be Professional – Maintain a professional image, especially if you’re freelancing or otherwise working with clients or an employer. Be professional in everything you do from communication to applying for new gigs.
- Learn as Much as You Can – No matter the method you choose to make money online, learn as much about it as you can. Start by following the links we’ve provided above.
- Choose Projects Wisely – Don’t just snatch up any gig that comes your way. Though it’s difficult to do so at first, it’s far better to turn down low-paying or otherwise bad jobs, so you actually have the time to commit to good ones when they eventually come along.
The last tip to keep in mind is to play to your skillset. If you don’t know anything about programming, there’s no reason to try to become a freelance programmer.
Evaluate your strongest skills, and the fields that interest you most, to decide which of the methods above is the best fit for you.
How To Earn Money Online – Conclusion
Making money from home is easier than ever before thanks to the Internet.
Nowadays, anyone can earn money online by creating a website, running a blog, freelancing, selling skills or products, or with a number of other methods.
Yet the increase in the number of online money-making opportunities has also led to an increase in the number of scams out there.
Avoid these scams by focusing on the ten methods of making money online outlined above. Of course, it’s still essential to do research into each individual company or client.
With a little research, it’s easy to find a legitimate source of online income. Combine that with hard work, and you’ll be making extra money online before you know it.