Wondering how to make money online in 2020?
Making money online is easier than ever – whether you’re a student who wants to make a little side money every month, a blogger who wants to monetize their blog, or a would-be entrepreneur who wants to build a business online.
Whatever your goal is, the possibilities are there: you just need to figure out what you can do and figure out the best plan to help you reach your goals – which is what I want to help you do with this guide.
There are a lot of ways to make a little extra cash online, like completing surveys for a couple of $ (literally, a couple!) but my focus here is on strategies that can help you make real money. Viable options that will help you make either a few hundred dollars a month or even thousands, depending on what your goals are and how much work you’re willing to put in.
Because at the end of the day, it’s up to you how much you want to make and how much time and effort you can invest in this project, depending on your workload and your objectives.
And all you really need to get started is motivation, an Internet connection and (literally!) a few dollars.
In this epic guide of over 21,000 words, you’ll find 51+ ways to make money online – there’s something here for every skill and every knowledge level – start reading or just jump directly to the money-making strategies you’re most interested in, by clicking on the links below:
- Get rich quick: are these “shiny silver bullets” a real thing?
- 1. Start a blog – and monetize it
- 2. Start a podcast and make money from sponsorships
- 3. Offer remote freelancing services or get a remote part-time or full-time job
- 4. Use Fiverr to find paying gigs
- 5. Promote affiliate products and services and make money
- 6. Use your social media skills to manage businesses’ social media
- 7. Offer search engine optimization services
- 8. Offer web design or web development services
- 9. Become a freelance content writer
- 10. Create and manage online ads
- 11. Write and self-publish an e-book with Kindle Direct Publishing
- 12. Get paid to write for publications online
- 13. Create online courses and online course series
- 14. Create a membership site
- 15. Create a niche site
- 16. Build a virtual “school”
- 17. Create and sell webinars
- 18. Buy and sell websites and online businesses
- 19. Buy and sell domain names
- 20. Sell your products using online platforms
- 21. Set up an ecommerce store and sell your own products
- 22. Make money with dropshipping
- 23. Create an app
- 24. Develop a software-as-a-service tool (SaaS)
- 25. Develop a WordPress Plugin/s and Themes
- 26. Sell stock photography online
- 27. Sell your music online
- 28. Sell stock video footage
- 29. Offer video editing services online
- 30. Sell your art and designs
- 31. Make money with a YouTube channel
- 32. Join specialty sites to sell your niche services
- 33. Build a list and leverage email marketing
- 34. Become a Virtual Assistant
- 35. Source sales leads for businesses
- 36. Make money with commissions-based sales
- 37. Perform market research for businesses
- 38. Become a proof-reader or editor
- 39. Become a beta reader for writers
- 40. Become an online consultant
- 41. Become a coach
- 42. Run online workshops and retreats
- 43. Run online corporate workshops
- 44. Become an online personal trainer
- 45. Start an online agency
- 46. Become an online interpreter or a translator
- 47. Teach English online
- 48. Rent your stuff online and make money
- 49. Perform data analysis for businesses and enterprises
- 50. Become a social influencer
- 51. Offer voice over services
- 52. Get paid to play video games
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Disclaimer: Some of the links included in this guide are affiliate links on the basis of which I can earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Please know that any software tools or services I recommend in this article are all tried and tested by me – I would never recommend something that I don’t know for a fact, works.
Get rich quick: are these “shiny silver bullets” a real thing?
I’m going to get this right out of the way from the start:
Get rich quick schemes are just what their names says – schemes. They sound good in theory (sometimes!) but the truth is, the only people that will get rich from them are those who are behind them.
Achieving true success – both online and in real life – is a difficult and time-consuming process and there are very few exceptions to this rule. Even those who appear to have become rich overnight, if you look deeper, you’ll see that there are months and even years of work behind their success, and oftentimes, even failure.
As for starting to make money immediately?
That is certainly possible.
There are numerous ways to monetize your skills and knowledge and start making money online within a few days or weeks.
And if you want to build a business online that allows you to make a living – and even make tens of thousands of dollars, or more, every month – it’s definitely possible.
But you have to be prepared to work to get there.
You have to be prepared to fail occasionally – and that’s OK, everyone fails; the big difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is that those who succeed have learned from their failures and picked themselves up and started again. And again.
But in this in-depth guide to making money online, we’ll be covering all kinds of tactics for pretty much any skills level or objective.
If you want to just make some side money and supplement your income, I’ve got you covered.
And if you want to build a successful business online, I’ve got you covered too.
In the end, it’s up to you – but I’ll do all I can to give you all the knowledge and tools you need to achieve your work-from-home objectives.
1. Start a blog – and monetize it
Who it’s for: this is something that literally anyone can try, whether you just want to make a few extra bucks a month or want to build a small fortune. Plus, there are so many lucrative niches out there that there’s an option for pretty much anybody
How much can you earn: it depends on your niche and (largely) on the work you’re willing to put in. That being said, bloggers make anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to $1 million + (just google blog income reports to check for yourself if you don’t believe me!)
Start-up costs: starting a blog can be completely free. But if you want to build a blog that makes money, you will need to make a few small investments – less than $50-100/a month for hosting, plugins and software you’ll need to manage and grow your blog business. You can also find a lot of free solutions to help you get started, but in my opinion, if you want to build a successful business out of your blog, you need to invest in some professional tools to help you grow
This is arguably one of the best ways to make money online in the long-term. And it’s perfect for just about anyone – you don’t even need to be an amazing writer to get started (there’s an easy fix: get a freelancer to write it for you!)
However, it’s important to recognize the fact that blogging is something that you need to work on consistently and regularly (every day!) if you want to generate enough traffic to start making money.
And if you want to be one of those bloggers who make a killing from blogging (i.e. over $5-10k a month), then you’ll need to put in a lot of work.
Another very important element is the niche you choose for your blog; you need to find a lucrative niche, one that has a large audience – and an audience that has enough buying power.
In other words, if your target audience can only afford low-ticket products (under $50), it will be difficult to take your blog earnings to the next level.
Ideally, you should try to find an audience that you can sell both low-ticket and high-ticket products and services; for example, offering high-end consulting services to businesses.
This is especially important if you want to keep growing your blog and improve your earnings.
Your niche should also be something that you’re familiar with; a topic that you’re knowledgeable about (and prepared to constantly learn more!).
So, think of your skills, your passions, your hobbies, your past jobs and once you’ve got some ideas of topics for your blog, start researching the potential of that audience:
- Look up popular blogs in that niche and check their websites to see what products and services they’re selling: if they’re successful and selling a combination of both low-ticket (like selling an online course, for example) and high-ticket products (such as consulting services), then you’re definitely on to something good
- Make a list of keywords that people would use to search for a blog like this; then, use the SEMRush keyword research tool to look up these keywords and find out what their search volume is (ideally, look for keywords that generate upwards of 50k average monthly searches):
- long keywords – or phrases – like the one used in the above screenshot: “how to create an app”) – this is to help you get in relevant search results and get more targeted, organic traffic
If you want to start a blog and find out exactly what you need to do, read my in-depth guide on how to start a blog here.
As for monetizing your blog, you have a plethora of options to choose from; one very important thing to remember though is that you should try to set up multiple income streams by creating several products and services.
Here are some ideas:
- Create digital products such as e-books, online courses and webinars
- Offer services, such as consulting for businesses and bloggers, mentoring and coaching
- Promote affiliate products on your blog and to your email list and make a percentage of every sale made when someone clicks your links
- Get paid for sponsored content and for reviewing products and services on your blog
That being said, there are too many options to go through here; that’s why I’ve written a 15k-word guide on how to make money blogging which goes through each strategy and shows you how much you can potentially make from each one.
2. Start a podcast and make money from sponsorships
Who it’s for: people who are comfortable in front of a microphone!
How much can you earn: the industry standard for podcast sponsorships starts at $18 per 1,000 listens for pre-roll sponsorships (at the beginning of the podcast), $25 for mid-roll (somewhere in the middle of the podcast episode) and $10 for post-roll (at the end of your podcast) – so your earnings will depend on how popular your podcast gets. Or, another way to make money from podcasting is to promote affiliate products
Start-up costs: while you can potentially start doing it for free, if you’re serious about podcasting it’s worth getting some equipment to ensure the sound is up to par; luckily, since podcasting is so popular right now, there are plenty of podcasting kits that you can get that include everything you need (microphone, headphones, etc.) and can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 (but you can definitely get the job done with cheaper kits!)
If you love talking – especially with other people too – podcasting can be a great way to make money.
As you’ve seen earlier, you can start to make money from podcasting once you’ve got a good base of listeners for each of your episodes, so it will take some time to get your podcast to that level so that you can start earning from it.
But once you do get to a certain level, you can actually make a lot of money from podcasting. Take a look at Entrepreneurs On Fire, for example; for the first 3 months of 2020, they’ve generated $521,558 gross income, the majority of which come from sponsorships for their EOFire podcast (77%, to be exact):
So, the potential is definitely there – and podcasting is at a point where it’s still growing in popularity across the world, not yet saturated.
But just like with blogging earlier, you need to pick a good niche, one with a lot of potential. Plus, if you want your podcast to grow and get more listeners with every episode, then you need to spend a lot of time promoting it.
If you’re thinking of going the podcasting route, here are some tips to help you pick a good niche and get started with podcasting:
- Make a list of what you know, what you can do, what you’re passionate about, your skills and knowledge and use that to make a shortlist of podcast ideas that you’d like to do (in needs to be something that you’re knowledgeable about and that you’re comfortable talking about at length)
- Do some competitive research: look up the most popular podcasts in your categories and listen to them; what topics do they cover? What makes them special? Why do people love them so much?
- Choose a podcast format: by listening to the other popular podcasts in the niche you want to go in, you’ll also get a better idea of the formats you can use for it. Will it be you and another person (or more!) talking through the entire podcast? Or an interview-style podcast? Just you?
- Think of the future: is there enough material there to create dozens – nay, hundreds! – of podcast episodes?
3. Offer remote freelancing services or get a remote part-time or full-time job
Who it’s for: anyone!
How much can you earn: it depends on what services you can provide and how much work you’re willing to do – you could make $50 a week or hundreds of dollars! Plus, once you do this for longer, you’ll have more loyal clients as well as a better profile (i.e. reviews from past clients) which will help you earn more from freelancing. Or, if you go the part-time or full-time route, you could definitely make thousands a month
Start-up costs: none!
This is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways to start making money online; although, just like with finding a new job, it can take some time to find opportunities. Once you do though, you’ll be able to start making money immediately, from the comfort of your own home.
And all you need to get started is a couple of websites where you can find potential employers and projects you could work on.
One of the best websites around for this is Flexjobs; they’ve got some amazing employers (think Dell, Apple, Salesforce and many others) and you’ll be able to find all kinds of jobs, including part-time and full-time remote work, flexible schedule jobs, as well as freelancing projects.
And they’ve got jobs in pretty much any category you can think of:
4. Use Fiverr to find paying gigs
Who it’s for: anyone with a skill that someone would pay for: content writing, website design, sales copywriting, voiceover…pretty much anything you can think of!
How much can you earn: as before, it depends on what you can do and how many clients you can get. It’s up to you how much effort you put into it and based on, your earnings will change too. Plus, as you get more and more clients, it will be easier to start making more money as well
Start-up costs: none!
Fiverr is one of the top sources that businesses use to find freelancers for all their different projects; to give you an example, the most popular searches right now (at time of writing) are voice over jobs translation, logo design and articles and blog posts – but there are many more types of projects that businesses need!
The best freelancers have the potential to turn “pro”, these are the best of the best, verified by Fiverr and marked as “Pro Verified” to point out the fact that they are some of the best freelancers for the job:
And because they’re pros, they can also charge considerably more for their work, as you can see in the above screenshot.
Once you’ve signed up for Fiverr, but before you advertise your services, take the time to look at your competition, how they advertise their services and how much they charge to give you a better idea of how to promote your own freelance services.
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5. Promote affiliate products and services and make money
Who it’s for: anyone – but in order to get started, you first need to pick a good niche and build up a decent audience
How much can you earn: like with most of these tactics, it depends on a lot of different factors; that said, some affiliate marketers earn upwards of $20k a month
Start-up costs: depends on the platform you use to promote these affiliate products; for example, on social media you could easily do it for free, while with blogging and/or email marketing you should invest in a lead generation tool – I use OptinMonster – and an email marketing tool – I use ConvertKit. But your costs will still be under $100/month
Affiliate marketing can be an extremely lucrative way to make money online and to generate passive income; here’s how it works:
- You find affiliate programs (for example, the Amazon Affiliate Program allows you to promote a wide variety of products) or individual affiliate programs (for example, many software tools have their own affiliate programs) – to find affiliate programs, you can easily search for the “brand name” or “your keyword” + “affiliate program”
- Is it a good product or service? It’s easy to just sign up and start selling but is it genuinely good product or service? Because if it isn’t, even if you get some people to buy it, if they’re disappointed in what they’re getting it could really affect your results in the long-run; after all, why should they trust any more of your recommendations if you’ve recommended something of low-quality? So before you start promoting something, try it yourself too – or focus on products/services that you already know are good
- Study their program: how much do you earn per sale? How do you get paid? Be careful as some programs give you credits for using their services, rather than pay you a percentage of the sale. Plus, some programs offer very low sales percentages for their affiliates so it might not be worth signing up for them
- Would your audience buy this? Take the time to carefully consider the answer to this question as there’s no point in promoting products or services that your audience can’t actually afford or don’t really need.
- Sign up for each program: follow the instructions provided on their affiliate program pages and then wait – in some cases, you’ll need to wait a few days to be vetted
Then, it’s time to start promoting and selling these products.
You’ve got multiple options here:
- Blogging: this is one of the most effective ways to promote affiliate links
- Social media: build up your social profile, become an influencer (that doesn’t mean that you need to have millions of followers; even an audience of 50k truly engaged followers can make you an influencer in your niche – the keyword here being “engaged”!) and once you’ve got a loyal audience, they’ll trust in your recommendations and want to buy the same things you use
- Email marketing: another highly effective way to promote and sell affiliate links is to build up a strong email subscriber list that you send regular content to. As you grow this list and as your subscribers become more engaged with your content, your results will also grow
- YouTube: if you love video and love creating them, this is another great way to promote your videos. Using YouTube keyword research to help you find out what people search for online and optimize your videos to rank high up in search results and therefore, get more views
6. Use your social media skills to manage businesses’ social media
Who it’s for: if you’re good at social media, this is perfect for you – especially if you have some social proof in the form of engaged followers and likes and comments
How much can you earn: it depends on your experience but one client can pay upwards of $50 for a week’s worth of work (with just one or 2 posts per day so not a lot of work from your part!); if you can get a client that wants full-time social media management (several social networks with 1-2 posts per day for one month), you can make upwards of $300 a month, from one client (and you’ll have enough time to manage multiple clients in a month)
Start-up costs: none! But if you’re serious about this career, you might want to invest in a social media scheduling tool and a graphic design tool like Canva to help you create visuals as easily and as quickly as possible (still, it will cost you less than $50 a month)
Business often outsource their social media to freelancers; they rarely need someone full-time (unless they’re a bigger company) so it makes more sense financially for them to outsource it to freelancers.
And the best part is, this is something that a lot of people can do, especially if you were born in the social media era and have used it for years for personal purposes.
The approach, of course, is different for businesses; you need to keep in mind what their marketing goals are, what the company does and what they sell, and what their company culture is so that you can come up with appropriate updates for them.
And if you have any graphic design and/or Photoshop experience, that’s definitely a huge plus. Even better if you can also create videos for them!
7. Offer search engine optimization services
Who it’s for: search engine experts (or those willing to learn to become experts!)
How much can you earn: from $1,000-2,000 a month just from one client– SEO services are in high demand all over the world because they help provide businesses with much-needed exposure to their target audience.
Start-up costs: under $100 a month; the main you thing you need is quality SEO software that allows you to audit websites, research keywords and start backlinking campaigns; additionally, if you’re offering backlinking services, you’ll also need an email outreach tool to help speed up the process (otherwise, it will take you way too long to run your backlinking campaigns!)
As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, SEO services are in extremely high-demand and businesses (and some bloggers and online publications, for that matter) are often willing to pay quite a bit to improve their rankings and grow their organic traffic.
And the best part is, SEO is very much here to stay – as long as we have the Internet, we’re going to search for the things we need online. It might change – for example, more people will likely start using voice search – but the principles will remain the same.
And good SEO can make a huge difference to a businesses’ or websites’ success; while social media, for example, doesn’t bring in much of an ROI (return on investment) for most businesses, SEO can bring massive benefits:
- More organic traffic by improving rankings on search engines
- More sales, because good SEO means you’ll get more targeted traffic
- More visitors to your brick-and-mortar locations (this is where local SEO comes in)
- Improved domain authority, which is particularly valuable to online publishers and bloggers who rely on their organic traffic to monetize their websites/blogs
If you don’t know SEO, I’ve got good news: everyone can learn on their own, from the comfort of their own home.
All you have to do is sign up for a course on Udemy – for example, here’s one of the top courses, that goes through all of the SEO concepts that you need to know to get started:
You can learn at your own pace with on-demand videos/online courses, articles and other downloadable resources; and if you want to specialize in a certain type of SEO – such as technical SEO, local SEO, backlinking campaigns (this is arguably one of the most sought-after, by the way) – you can further improve your skills by taking another course that specializes in a certain tactic.
Just use Udemy to find awesome courses like this one:
When you’re ready to start selling your SEO services, you can use freelancer platforms like Fiverr to advertise your services and get clients.
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll also need some tools to help you offer these services; my recommendation is SEMRush because you get:
- A Pro keyword research tool:
- Site audit tool and on-page SEO checker
- Position tracking for websites/keywords
- Numerous link building tools, including backlink analytics for any website and a few different link building tools to help you find backlink opportunities:
So basically, you can use it for pretty much any SEO and link building projects.
If you want to offer link building services, then it’s a good idea to get an outreach tool as you’ll need to email thousands of people every month which is pretty much impossible to do manually. Plus, the management will be a nightmare.
The much easier way is to get a tool like Buzzstream to help – you’ll be able to automatically send all of these emails, as well as manage the responses more effectively.
8. Offer web design or web development services
Who it’s for: web design and web development pros
How much can you earn: people are willing to pay a lot of money for a good-looking website that performs well; in fact, you can expect upwards of $3,000 per project (and a lot more for some projects, depending on the work involved)
Start-up costs: you’ll be paying any extra costs from the fee you get paid for each website you make
If you know web design – or web development – then you’ve got a highly marketable skill that businesses (and other people who want to start a websites) will be willing to pay a lot of money to get.
So, if you know web design or web development, use platforms like Flexjobs and Upwork to advertise your services and start getting clients.
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9. Become a freelance content writer
Who it’s for: anyone who has a knack for writing (you might not even know you have it – it’s worth reading some blogs and then trying to write one yourself as a test, if you’re not sure of your content writing skills)
How much can you earn: there’s a lot of competition here and it’s very easy for people to find very cheap writers that only charge about 2 cents per word; that said, the quality will usually be quite low as well. That being said, you can also find jobs that pay about 5 cents per word and 10 cents per word for top writers who can write about complex topics – however, top writers with a lot of experience tend to get these jobs. You can also earn more per word if you know a niche very well – niches like law and medicine require very specific knowledge so those types of writers are more difficult to find (and therefore they’re also paid better)
Start-up costs: none! Although if you want to do this as much as possible and earn more money from content writing, it’s worth investing in a tool like Grammarly to help ensure you don’t have any spelling or grammar errors or that your content isn’t difficult to read
Content marketing has massively grown in popularity in the past few years; just like every business needs a social media presence, so does every website (and business, of course) need great content.
That’s because content helps websites and businesses get more traffic, as well as helps them generate more leads and sales.
Some of the most common types of content that are needed, are:
- Blog posts and articles (generally around 1,000 words per blog post)
- E-books (these can be upwards of 15-20k words)
- How to guides
- Case studies
This is also something that’s much easier to outsource than to do in-house so businesses will often use platforms like Flexjobs and Upwork to find content writers.
If you want to make your offer even more attractive to potential clients, you can offer them bonuses such as:
- Performing keyword research (you can use SEMRush to help) to help their content rank in relevant search results
- Offer search engine-optimized content: basically, doing the on-page SEO for the content you write for clients, as well as providing SEO titles and meta descriptions that they can use
And if you’ve skipped the SEO part of this guide and don’t really know SEO, just try an SEO course on Udemy– it’s one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to learn:
Plus, you might even discover that you love doing SEO – and that’s another great opportunity for making money online 🙂
10. Create and manage online ads
Who it’s for: anyone who knows how to write amazing copy
How much can you earn: you could make around $50 per ad, and a couple hundred dollars a month to actively manage and optimize the ads
Start-up costs: none!
Creating and posting online ads (on Google, Facebook and so on) is very easy – anyone with an Internet connection and few dollars in their accounts can do it.
Actually getting results from online ads, on the other hand… that’s a completely different story. Which is why a lot of businesses turn to freelancers to help them with these projects:
- Creating the ads, which includes the copy used in the ad and the visuals used (images and videos)
- Managing the ads for them, including optimizing the ads that aren’t performing well-enough and adjusting budgets to improve their results
And the thing is, if you can get businesses great results – which are very easy to track – then you can make a lot of money from online ads management.
For example, here’s a Fiverr freelancer who charges €483 for the most basic package of 1 week Facebook ads management:
11. Write and self-publish an e-book with Kindle Direct Publishing
Who it’s for: people who are passionate about writing
How much can you earn: it depends on quite a few different variables: the quality (although that’s arguable, I’m sure – there are plenty of objectively bad books that still make it somehow!), the niche (some e-book niches are considerably more popular than others) and your promotional strategy. But if you’ve got a good book and know how to promote it, you could make a few hundred dollars and up to $1,000 or so a month (and even more for some). But ideally, you should keep writing and releasing more e-books in order to keep growing your income from e-book sales
Start-up costs: while it is possible to start for free (editing yourself or having a friend do it, designing your book cover by yourself, and so on) it’s worth investing at least in an editor and proof-reader; the fees for his vary dramatically, but you can find some great editors on Fiverr for less than $20 for around 2,500 words (both proofreading and editing)
Publishing a book is easier than ever – literally anyone can do it (which is why you’ll find a plethora of awful, badly edited books on Kindle!) with the Amazon Self-Publishing program.
It’s free to sign up and literally takes less than 5 minutes to post your book and within 2 days, people will be able to find it and buy it via Amazon.
As for earnings, you can receive up to 70% royalty on sales made in certain countries, and even more if you add your book to Kindle Unlimited (which is a subscription-based book renting model) or the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
You might say now that “well, yeah…but I’m not a writer”
But the truth is, you don’t need to Stephen King, always writing whenever you have a spare moment and dreaming about become a full-time writer in order to become a published (and moderately successful) writer.
Some were born to do this and they know it clearly; and others, they simply found a good topic and managed to turn their knowledge into a book.
Here’s the list of e-book categories that you can find on Kindle:
Writing the book is only the first step though; you’ll also need to:
- Create a great cover – get someone on Fiverr to design it for you or use a tool like Canva to do it yourself (but remember: the book title should always be in a larger font than the author name)
- Create a blog/website: this is a highly effective way to promote your e-book, especially if you learn SEO – more people will be able to find you online and by extension, your book
- Set up social media profiles: likewise, it’s a great way to promote your book and build a relationship with your existing readers as well
- Learn Amazon SEO: Amazon is one of the world’s biggest search engines and just like with Google, Bing and other search engines, the way you optimize your “product” can help you reach more people and therefore, make more sales
12. Get paid to write for publications online
Who it’s for: anyone who has knack for writing
How much can you earn: not a lot, unless you write for a lot of publications; generally, they pay around 5 cents or less per word but if you write for a lot of publications, you can make a few thousand dollars a month (it will be a very time-consuming process though and you’ll need to write dozens of articles every month)
Start-up costs: none!
A lot of online publications pay writers for guest posts; both big and smaller publications. As I mentioned earlier, they don’t pay a lot; some pay you per article, some per views generated but generally, whatever their payment method is, it’s usually lower than (or just about the same as) freelance content writer gigs.
That said, it’s also a great way to get your name up there and build up your online profile as some publications will allow you to be named as the author of that website.
To find websites, simply google “websites that pay for guest posts” and you’ll find a plethora of lists to get you started on your writing journey.
It’s a great way to make some extra money, but if you want to make considerably more, you’ll likely have to write dozens of articles per month.
13. Create online courses and online course series
Who it’s for: anyone with a teachable skill
How much can you earn: a LOT. Depending on how good your course is, there’s a lot of potential. Some people make millions from selling online courses
Start-up costs: a few hundred dollars, depending on what equipment you already have (but you can always reuse webcam/microphone/etc. for future courses) plus you’ll also need an online course platform to set up a teaching “room” and host your course
The e-learning industry is absolutely huge; if you’ve never really tried it before (i.e. taking courses online), you’ll be probably be surprises, to say the least, by the huge number of online courses available, as well as the absolutely impressive number of people who take them.
And the thing is, it keeps growing; in fact, the e-learning industry is estimated to be worth around $325 billion by 2025.
Companies use them to further improve their employees’ skills; individuals use them to learn new skills and improve existing ones, as well as expand their knowledge; and of course, schools use them to make it easier for their students to learn.
And a plethora of people online are making a lot of money from creating and selling online courses. In fact, for a lot of top-earning bloggers, online courses are some of their biggest sources of revenue.
So if you have any skills or knowledge that others would want to learn as well – and it can be anything, from cooking to SEO to web design and pretty much anything you can think of.
And once you have an idea of what you could teach, you can easily research the market by searching the online courses available on platforms like Udemy:
You’ll be able to see how many courses there are available on that topic, as well as see how many students have enrolled for each course (just click on a course to get this extra information):
This simple research will give you a pretty good idea of what the demand is like for that particular market as well as show you what kinds of courses get the most students enrolled and the best ratings. This way, you’ll be able to pick a topic that people want to learn more about.
Plus, it will also give you a better idea of how to price your online courses.
Once you’ve picked a topic and you’ve got your materials ready – i.e. prepping the lessons and videos, as well as any other additional materials and resources, such as checklists and useful articles – you’ll need an online course software to help you; Thinkific is a great option for this.
14. Create a membership site
Who it’s for: those with a teachable skill who want to build a full-time passive income stream
How much can you earn: anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month…to tens of thousands (and even more for hugely popular membership sites)
Start-up costs: the start-up costs are a bit higher for this project; you’ll need membership software to build your website, tools to help you create webinars and online courses, hosting for your website and some other incidentals (so it could cost you at least a few hundred dollars to start with)
Building a membership website is a lot of work – I think it’s important to get this out of the way from the start. That being said, it can also be an extremely profitable business model and one that can become a full-time job for you, helping you earn passive income (although you’ll still need to be quite active and add new content, as well as promote your website continuously to keep driving memberships up).
But what is a membership website, exactly?
Basically, it’s a website with content that only members can access; if someone wants to access your website’s content, they’ll first need to sign up. Some websites do this only for a part of their website, while others do it for the entire website.
As for monetizing a membership site, the main principle is that you charge people to get access to premium content. It can be your entire website but generally, it’s best practice to offer some quality content for free so that people can get to trust you and to show them what kind of value you can offer them; then, you upsell them on your premium content and either charge a one-time fee for access or build a kind of subscription-based online community where you keep adding new content.
There are a lot of options and you can customize your monetization model exactly as you like.
Before you start building a membership software, first take the time to thoroughly research your niche and market. Just like with blogs, you need to have a very clear picture of who you’re targeting and they’re buying power, so that you’ll know whether there is true potential there.
Plus, this will also help you understand what kinds of content you need to create and what topics you need to cover in order to build a type of online community that there’s a real demand for.
And once you’re ready, you can easily build your membership site by yourself with software; WildApricot is one of the best options around, and it features all the tools you need to build your website, including some beautiful pre-made themes, an easy-to-use responsive website builder and built-in payment options, among many other features.
15. Create a niche site
Who it’s for: people with a niche passion/hobby
How much can you earn: anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to tens of thousands (depends on the niche you choose and how lucrative it is as well as how many visitors you get); plus, if you build a very successful site, you can also make a lot of money by selling it directly
Start-up costs: to start with, you’ll need website hosting and a theme to build your niche website; you should also invest in a good SEO tool – I use and recommend SEMrush – as you’ll need it for keyword research, backlinking campaigns and other SEO tactics (if you want to make money from a niche website, then it needs to rank for some really high-quality keywords that get a lot of organic traffic!)
Niche websites can make a lot of money from affiliate sales and ad revenue; however, there are some very important variables that will determine the success of your niche site:
- The profitability of that niche – you need to pick a niche that there’s a big demand for because most of your revenue will be tied in with your traffic numbers; in order to research potential niches, use a keyword research like SEMrush to see how many people search for those keywords – this will paint a very clear picture of that niche’s potential
- The traffic you get: if you don’t get a lot of traffic, you won’t be able to make a lot of money from your niche website; it’s as simple as that. The more traffic you get, the more money you’ll make from ads and from the affiliate products you promote on your site
- The keywords you rank for: this is extremely important; if you want to get good results, then you need to target high-volume niche keywords and leverage SEO strategies such as link building, to ensure that you’re ranking high up in search results – that’s why you really need a tool like SEMrush to help. Think of it this way; if you build a niche website focusing on graphic design and you appear in first page search results for a high-volume keyword like “logo design”, that means you’re potentially reaching an audience of 627k people every month:
- The quality of your site: there’s a lot of competition out there, no matter the niche, so only the best will make it in the long run. You need to make a beautiful looking website, create awesome content regularly and update your website constantly to ensure it’s up to date and better than your competitors!
If you’re thinking of building a niche website, it’s important to be aware that it’s not easy and it will likely take considerable time to build it up to a stage where it starts to make you good money – but if you’re willing to put in the work, the potential is definitely there.
16. Build a virtual “school”
Who it’s for: those who have a lot of knowledge about a broad topic – something that gives you enough material and enough possibilities to keep creating new courses and content
How much can you earn: a lot – but only the best make it. You need a profitable niche – preferably one that also targets businesses, not just individuals – and you need amazing content, consistently
Start-up costs: your time will be one of your main “start-up costs” for this project as you’ll need to create a lot of valuable content (online courses, webinars, articles, etc.); plus, you’ll also need to get website hosting, an online course software and possibly, some recording equipment; additionally, if you want help, you can also get freelancers using sites like Fiverr to help you create the content
Building an online “school” can be an extremely profitable business; at its essence, it’s a type of membership site whereby you charge people for access to educational content.
That content should be a variety of resources, such as:
- Online courses
- How-to guides
- Strategies (marketing strategies, corporate, and so on – perfect for businesses!)
- Checklists, templates and other similar resources
- Tests and exercises for extra work
However, in order for your school to be profitable, you first need a good niche.
Ideally, you should target both regular people – people with regular jobs who are looking to learn a new skill – as well as businesses. That’s because businesses have a lot more income to spend on projects like this and a lot of them invest in e-learning to help improve their employees’ skills and knowledge, as well as to incentivize their employees.
And luckily, actually creating an online school really isn’t as difficult as it might sound at first; here’s what you need:
- Get hosting and a free domain name for your website from Bluehost
- Use Thinkific to build your website
- Set up payment plans, using Thinkinfic
- Add your videos, articles and downloads, as well as create quizzes, surveys and more to engage your audience (once again, you can do all this with Thinkific)
- Create and add any products that you’re going to sell on your website, such as strategies and online courses
17. Create and sell webinars
Who it’s for: those who have another product or service to sell or promote, or a skill that they can teach others
How much can you earn: anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands per webinar
Start-up costs: under $50-$100 per month – all you need is a webinar software, but the pricing usually depends on how many attendees you’ve got
Webinars can be used in a variety of ways to make money:
- Use them to promote a product or service you’re offering (for example, if you’re a consultant or have an online course) by creating a free webinar
- Use them to promote affiliate products and make money from affiliate sales
- Sell webinars directly by offering enough value (basically, kind of like an online course, in a way)
Each option can be highly effective and can help you make a lot of money if you pick a good topic and have an amazing promotional strategy (because if you can’t get people to attend your webinar, then you’re not going to make much money either); here are some other important facts and tips to remember about webinars:
- There are several different types of webinars: live webinars (they happen at a certain time and are recorded live), on-demand webinars (pre-recorded webinars that people can watch at any moment), automated webinars (webinars that happen at a certain time but are recorded beforehand) and hybrid webinars (pre-recorded webinars with the host attending and participating live)
- Webinars generally run for 45 minutes + 15 extra minutes at the end of the webinar, reserved for a Q&A session
- You’ll need to create a landing page for your webinar – this is where people will register (and pay, if that’s the case); the good news is, you can use a tool like ClickMeeting to create and host your webinar, as well as create a landing page for it); this is also the page you’ll use to promote your webinar and should contain all the relevant information regarding the date and time, as well as what attendees will be getting out of your webinar
- Use automated emails to drive up attendance: as soon as someone registers for your webinar, they should receive an email with all the relevant information; then, you should keep sending your registrants regular emails to remind them of the webinar (ideally, you should create an email sequence that sends all of the emails automatically, at the right time – I use ConvertKit)
- Prep additional resources and materials: give away some free resources to your webinar attendees to provide them more value and entice them to buy
To create and host a webinar, I recommend ClickMeeting – it’s an all-in-one webinar software with numerous useful features to help you promote your webinar and create a better, more engaging experience for all of your attendees; for example, you can:
- Add custom branding to your webinar and webinar room
- Create a webinar waiting room that keeps people engaged
- Create a registration/landing page for your webinar, as well as a thank-you page
- Set up customized invitations to drive up registrations
- Stream to Facebook or YouTube
- Use whiteboards, presentations, screen sharing, quizzes and more to make your webinar as engaging as possible
18. Buy and sell websites and online businesses
Who it’s for: stock market, investing enthusiasts and risk-takers
How much can you earn: it can be very lucrative but it’s also a risky endeavour (which is why I recommended it mostly for stock market and investing enthusiasts who aren’t averse to taking some risks!) – but you can potentially make tens of thousands of dollars from a sale (it’s not easy to get to that stage though)
Start-up costs: anywhere from a few hundred to thousands (depends on how much you’re willing to invest)
Websites are assets – kind of like real estate or stocks; there’s a big market for websites and online businesses that drive a lot of traffic and make money – the more money they can make, the more you can sell them for.
However, this can be a very high-risk strategy, like with all investing; for one thing, you could be completely wrong about the value of the website you’re flipping or unable to grow it enough and for another, it could be very difficult to find a buyer.
But at the same time, like with many high-risk opportunities, the rewards can also be amazing.
And another great advantage is that it’s quite easy to get started.
Flippa is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – website where anyone can buy and sell websites and online businesses; you’ll find a huge array of options, with websites costing anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands:
19. Buy and sell domain names
Who it’s for: likewise, it’s perfect for stock market and investing enthusiasts and risk-takers
How much can you earn: it’s not as lucrative as it used to be but some domain names can be sold for thousands of dollars or even tens of thousands
Start-up costs: anywhere from a few bucks to thousands (depends on how much you’re willing to invest)
Sometimes, the value of a website is not in the actual website or the traffic it gets – it’s in the domain name. A good, keyword-rich domain name can make a huge difference to a business, online publication, or blog so in some cases, they’ll be willing to shell out a lot of money to get the domain they desire (especially if it’s a .com)
However, this strategy isn’t as lucrative as it was years ago because a lot of good website domain names are already taken (and some, being sold for huge sums); but it’s still a pretty big business.
Here’s what to do to use this money-making strategy:
- Buy a new domain name and get hosting from Bluehost here
- Or, buy an existing domain name from Sedo, here (this is the biggest domain marketplace available)
- Sell your domain names via the Sedo marketplace, either on a fixed price or through a domain auction, whereby you sell your domain name to the highest bidder
20. Sell your products using online platforms
Who it’s for: anyone who wants to create a product and sell it (but doesn’t want to start their own ecommerce store)
How much can you earn: very difficult to say, it depends a lot on the product, the demand for it and your target market – but you could start earning a few hundred dollars from the first month
Start-up costs: there are several costs that you’ll need to plan for: manufacturing costs, shipping costs, advertising and marketing – and because of all the different variables involved (like the cost of creating the product, your location and so on), it’s very difficult to provide a clear and accurate estimate of start-up costs
If you can create a product that people will want, then you can start making money from it; it could be your art, jewellery, furniture…the possibilities are endless.
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And luckily, there are a plethora of websites – like eBay or Etsy – where anyone with a product can simply start selling.
Here are some tips to help you succeed:
- Think like a business: who are your customers, what is your target audience? Why would they want your products?
- Where does your target audience spend time online? Where do they buy online? What social media channels do they use? The more you know, the better you’ll be able to promote your products, as well as sell them on the right channels
- Consider investing in online ads: once you know what social media platforms your audience uses (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) it’s worth investing in social media ads for those channels to drive up sales
21. Set up an ecommerce store and sell your own products
Who it’s for: anyone who wants to build an online business (and is ready for a lot of work!)
How much can you earn: a lot. You could be making just enough to keep afloat every month or you could go to Asos-like levels of success; it all depends on your products, the service you can provide, the profitability of your niche and your marketing strategies – creating a good product is not enough to be successful; there are a lot of different elements that make up a successful ecommerce business but if you get all of them right, then the possibilities are huge
Start-up costs: it can cost you quite a bit to start an ecommerce business; you’ll need to get hosting and an ecommerce tool to build your website; you’ll need to consider manufacturing costs (or alternatively, the costs of buying wholesale from third parties and reselling the products); material costs; shipping costs (if you or your customers need to pay huge shipping costs, it can be a big problem – after all, they can always go to Amazon and get next-day delivery at little cost); storage space costs; accounting software
With e-commerce businesses, you have 2 main options:
- Either create and sell your own products, which you’ve designed and manufactured (of course, not literally – you can pay others to manufacture your design for you)
- Or sell products created by others, which you buy at wholesale price and then sell them for a bigger price
The first option has the bigger potential for profitability; that’s because when you sell someone else’s products you can only mark them up so much so you’re only making a small percentage of profit with each sale (in which case, you need to sell huge volumes of products to make a good profit from your business).
With products you create yourself, on the other hand, you can price them however much you want, and usually, the profit will be bigger as well.
However, it’s also a lot more work; you’ll need to:
- Design your products
- Find a good manufacturer that can turn your designs into a reality and that can deliver as promised (both in terms of timing and in terms of the quality of the product)
- Find and purchase quality materials for your product at a fair price
- Set up a good shipping system as otherwise, you’ll be eaten up in no time by delivery giants like Amazon
And these are just some of the aspects that you’ll need to consider if you’re going to create and sell your own products.
But as I said, the advantage is that your profits will be higher too.
Plus, the other option is not without its risks either; you’ll need to buy enough stock to have on hand so that can be a huge investment on your part that might not pay off.
And the profits, as I explained earlier, will be lower as well.
That being said, it’s much less of a hassle than having to actually create the products and deal with the manufacturing side of things, so it’s much easier to get started with this strategy.
22. Make money with dropshipping
Who it’s for: those who want to start an e-commerce store but don’t want to deal with the headaches of manufacturing any products or even shipping them to customers
How much can you earn: not as much; the profit margin is much lower since the manufacturer or wholesaler you’ll work with will handle all the major costs (manufacturing, storing, shipping, etc.)
Start-up costs: while the profit margin is much lower than with other e-commerce sites, so are the start-up costs: since you don’t need to buy or store any products, all you really need is website hosting and an e-commerce theme and plugin to build and manage your online store – in other words, your costs will be lower than $100 per month
Dropshipping is like a quick-start way to start an e-commerce business: you don’t have to create or even buy any products, you don’t have to store them and you don’t even have to ship them once someone places an order.
So, what is dropshipping?
It’s a form of commerce where you partner with a product manufacturer (or a wholesaler) in order to sell their products – basically, you operate the store and work to get new customers and promote the products, while they handle the rest:
- Designing the product
- Manufacturing the product
- Storage space
- Shipping the product, once someone orders it
It’s a considerably easier way to start making money online and what’s more, the risks involved are considerably lower.
But, as I mentioned earlier, that also means that your profits will also be much lower as well (than if you’d created and sold your own product/design).
23. Create an app
Who it’s for: coders and app developers, or people with an amazing idea for a lucrative app
How much can you earn: the app market is huge so you can stand to make a lot of money if you’ve got a great app idea; however, since it’s so easy to create an app and the potential is so big, that naturally leads to a lot of competition – there are literally millions of apps out there (most of them for Android and for iOS users)
Start-up costs: pretty big – the biggest companies can easily spend up to $1 million for a single app, but as a smaller project, you could create an app for about $50,000 to $100,000. In other words, unless you’re sitting on a lot of money, you’ll need to find some investors to help you turn your app idea into a reality
Building an app costs a lot of money – this is, in fact, one of the most expensive strategies to start with from this entire list; however, as expensive as it may be to turn your app idea into a reality, so can the profits be pretty amazing.
There are several options when it comes to monetizing your app:
- Charge an upfront fee for signing up – it’s actually cheaper to create an app that people pay for upfront rather than one with in-app purchases, but the profits will also be lower; plus, there are so many free – or rather, seemingly free – apps available that people might be reticent to buy a no-name app
- Charge for in-app purchases – this is probably the most popular app monetization model right now. Users get the app for free (although there are even some paid apps that also offer in-app purchases – I don’t recommend it, you’ll make a lot of people very angry!) and then, in order to get more out of the app, they have to make all kinds of in-app purchases
- Make it free – this is another popular model and usually, it’s monetized with in-app advertising; however, be aware that in-app advertising can easily become extremely annoying, particularly if the user doesn’t have much control over when the ads start. Because of this, I recommend you offer various perks in exchange for watching ads and this way, everyone’s getting something out of it
However, the big question is, where do you get the money? In my personal experience, it’s not so much the funding that’s the problem. At least, not if you have a great idea for an app. What is a bigger problem is finding good app developers to help you turn your idea into a reality – unless you’re the developer, in which case, you’re good to go! Just check out my guide on how to get funding for a start-up business idea to see what options you have (angel investors, crowdfunding, etc.)
24. Develop a software-as-a-service tool (SaaS)
Who it’s for: software developers or anyone with a great software idea
How much can you earn: there are so many examples of software companies that started out from a basement and grew to be worth millions within just a few years; the potential is truly huge if you have a great idea and build a quality product but there are also a lot of things that can go wrong – not the least of which is actually the risk that comes with growing too fast!
Start-up costs: it’s very difficult to say as there are a lot of variables; however, to give you an idea, the typical costs are around $50,000+ for software development
Software development is an extremely lucrative industry – the right software platform can catapult you to huge success, helping you build businesses worth millions and even tens of millions of dollars.
Think of software like Hootsuite, Slack, Monday.com and so on – all of these companies have built huge brands on the back of their software.
If you’ve got a great idea for a software, it can be a great way to make money and build an actual business out of it as well. If you’re a developer – well, you’ll already have a head start. If not, you’ll have to find developers that turn your idea into a reality (which, in my experience, isn’t the easiest thing to do!); as for getting funding, there are multiple options available – check out my guide here to discover all these options and choose the right one for you.
25. Develop a WordPress Plugin/s and Themes
Who it’s for: developers
How much can you earn: it depends; a popular WordPress theme can easily earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars but it depends on what you can create and your marketing strategy
Start-up costs: it depends a lot on the type of plugin; however, costs start at a few hundred dollars for a simple plugin
There are over 455 million websites running on WordPress right now – it’s a huge market. With so many people using WordPress, the demand for good plugins and themes is impressive too so if you have a good idea for a theme or plugin, the potential is certainly there. Not to mention, the costs aren’t as high as they are with software development.
That being said, that also means that the competition is fierce in this space – the WordPress plugin marketplace is busy, to say the least, so you need a great idea and a great marketing strategy to succeed.
26. Sell stock photography online
Who it’s for: professional and amateur photographers
How much can you earn: you can earn a few hundred dollars a month if you produce enough photos
Start-up costs: none – as long as you already have a camera; if you don’t have a good camera, then it will cost you a few hundred dollars at least to get one (luckily though, there are a lot of great options that aren’t that expensive, since camera quality has evolved a lot over recent years)
Stock photography is a hot commodity, as every business and marketer needs to use photos regularly: on websites and landing pages, in emails, in social media updates, in marketing campaigns and so on.
It’s not really a way to make a full-time income – you only make a percentage of each sale and there are a lot of great photos out there to compete with – but it’s a really easy way to make some extra money every month. Plus, if you’re passionate about photography, it won’t even feel like a job – just a fun way to spend your time and make some money along the way.
And there’s another amazing advantage: it’s a truly passive way to earn a bigger income every month: once you’ve built an extensive library of stock photos (think 400-500 photos) and submitted to various stock photography sites, you can just sit back and wait for the sales to come in – the more photos you submit though, the better the chances that your earnings from stock photography will increase as well.
As for where to sell your stock photos, there are numerous options:
- Sign up and submit your photos to large stock photography sites
- Sign up for any niche stock photography sites if you want to focus on a certain type of photography
- Create your own site and sell your photography directly (this way, you’ll make a much larger profit although it’s more difficult to get clients – you’ll need to invest in a lot of SEO so that you can pop up in the right search results, as well as promote your photography on social media and other platforms)
If you want to do this but aren’t that confident in your photography skills, you can always take an online photography course to brush up your skills; you can find a lot of amazing ones on Udemy, both for beginners and more experienced users:
27. Sell your music online
Who it’s for: musicians
How much can you earn: the potential is there to make a lot of money, but it’s very difficult to get to that stage
Start-up costs: none – assuming you already have the equipment needed to record and create your music; if not, you’ll need software, and possibly, pay to rent recording space and/or a producer
We’re not going to talk about how you can become a star and get the record deal of your dreams here; rather, this is for musicians who don’t necessarily want to make a career out of it but who love creating music.
Because there are other opportunities to make money from your music, beyond becoming the next Justin Bieber; for example, here are some of the types you can make online with music:
- Sell stock music: there are a lot of people who need stock music, for example to include in YouTube videos and businesses who need them for their marketing videos; pretty much exactly like with stock photography and stock video footage (which is coming up next)
- Join sites like SoundBetter to advertise your musician services (song writing, producing, and so on) and make money selling your services
- Join sites like FyrFly to sell and license your music for all kinds of visual projects, such as TV shows and web series
- Advertise your musician services on freelancer sites like Fiverr:
28. Sell stock video footage
Who it’s for: people who love filming (and who preferably, have a good camera)
How much can you earn: you can potentially make a few hundred dollars a month (passively!) once you have an extensive portfolio of stock video footage
Start-up costs: you need a good camera and lighting kit to get started; plus, you might also need to pay extras to appear in your videos (or better yet, use your friends and family to help you save money)
This is pretty much like selling stock photos – only with video footage instead of photos. Many of the big stock photography sites also sell licenses for stock video footage and you basically make money every time someone buys one of your videos.
And the good news is, video marketing is absolutely huge right now – a lot of businesses and marketers need to create videos on a regular basis (for their website, their social media channels and so on) but the costs of producing these videos themselves are too high, especially if you need several videos a month.
Because of that, they turn to stock video footage – they buy ready-made video clips and then use video editing software to turn into a good business/marketing video.
So if you want to go this route, try to think of what kinds of videos businesses and marketers would use – spend some time browsing the libraries of stock footage sites and check out business profiles on social media to get a better idea of the types of videos you should create.
29. Offer video editing services online
Who it’s for: video editors
How much can you earn: you can make over £30 for a short 2-3 minute video for basic editing, and even more for motion graphics, visual effects on so on
Start-up costs: you’ll need a pro video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, so about $21 per month
As I mentioned earlier, video marketing is massively growing in popularity so being a good, reliable video editor can be quite lucrative; plus, it’s not just businesses and marketers who need these services, but also youtubers, bloggers and anyone who might use and publish videos online.
If you’re already an experienced video editor, then all you need to do is offer your video editing services on freelancing sites like Fiverr; alternatively, you can also look for remote part-time and full-time video editing jobs on Flexjobs.
If you don’t have much experience but are willing to learn in order to get into this industry, you can easily learn what you need by getting a course or 2 from Udemy:
30. Sell your art and designs
Who it’s for: artists of all kinds, photographers, etc.
How much can you earn: it depends on your skills (and your promotion) but generally, not a lot, most likely a few hundred dollars a month; alternatively, you can also build a business out of it and make considerably more – it’s all in the packaging.
Start-up costs: none – except for the materials you need to create your art (which of course, will differ considerably); alternatively, if you want to turn it into a business and build an e-commerce store to sell your art, you’ll have to invest money in website hosting, a website/e-commerce site, more materials and depending on the volume you sell, storage space
Are you an artist?
Whatever you do – painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and so on – there’s a market for it. You might not make a fortune from selling art, but it’s a great way to make some extra cash every month if you’re an artist.
However, as I mentioned earlier, with the right packaging, you can even build a straight-up business and make considerably more money from selling art.
Here are your options:
- Sell your art on various platforms, such as Amazon, Etsy and eBay (with minimal start-up costs)
- Create an e-commerce store, sell your products directly and build a business – this, as I said earlier, will incur higher costs but it can also lead to a considerably higher revenue and potentially, a full-time income source
However, in order to build a sustainable e-commerce store, the way you package and market your art will make a huge difference; for example, you can market your store as a source of unique, out-of-the-box gifts or use your design on all kinds of products, such as t-shirts, coffee mugs and so on.
31. Make money with a YouTube channel
Who it’s for: anyone – you don’t need to be a tech-savvy teenager or a charismatic gamer and so on in order to achieve success on YouTube
How much can you earn: it depends on how many views you can get – for every 1,000 views, you’ll make about $2-$3; plus, there’s another effective way to make money from YouTube – by promoting affiliate products (which means you can stand to make considerably more, especially as you grow a loyal audience that trusts you)
Start-up costs: depends on what you need to create your videos; you’ll likely need to get editing software for your videos and some recording equipment (a good quality camera, a microphone, a lighting kit and so on) and you can find these for pretty much any budget – from $100 or so to thousands, depending on how much you can and want to invest
Usually, when people think about making money from YouTube, they think about huge YouTube influencers, such as gamers and entertainment influencers who get millions of views on each one of their videos.
But they’re not the only ones making money from YouTube; in fact, anyone who has a good idea for a channel and can create quality videos consistently, can start earning from YouTube – either a little side money every month or even a full-time income, depending on how much you can grow your channel.
Plus, you don’t even have to appear in the videos if you don’t want to – it depends though on what kind of videos you want to create.
The thing is, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (after, of course, Google). Millions of people use it not just to find entertaining videos but also to learn how to do all kinds of stuff, from how to cook certain recipes, to how to build a bonfire and to how to use a certain software (for example, “how to use Zoom” is a super popular search as of April 2020, because so many people are stuck at home and looking for better ways to work and connect with their families and friends):
So as long as you can create videos about topics that there’s a big enough audience for, you’ve got a good chance to start making money from YouTube.
What can your videos be about?
- Entertainment videos: if you’re creatively-inclined (and especially if you have that comedic bone in your body), you can create sketches, shows and the like – however, you need to be truly talented to make it in this niche
- Educational content: this is perfect for everyone else – as long as you know how to do something, there’s most likely an audience for. Ideally though, you’ll want to build a unified channel, one that contains the same types of videos. The more videos you create, the more views you’ll get, the more subscribers and the more money. And don’t worry if there are already a bunch of videos available on the same topic you want to cover (you’ll be hard-pressed to find a topic that hasn’t already been covered at length on YouTube!) – as long as you can create an awesome video and know how to promote it, you can still generate impressive views. For example, I did a random search for “how to make hummus” and it resulted in a plethora of videos, many of which generate upwards of 500k and even 1 million views each:
Here are some tips to help you build a successful YouTube channel and start making money:
- Invest in equipment: if you want your videos to be successful, then you need to ensure your videos look and sound great. If they don’t, most people will just close your video and pick the next best one (because there always are alternatives!); so, if you’re serious about this project and want to make good money from YouTube, this is a necessary investment: microphone, high-quality camera, lighting kit
- Do your research: YouTube is a search engine and because of that, SEO optimization is essential. You can use a tool like SEMrush to research keywords and find out what their search volume is like globally to give you a better idea of what people search for. Plus, YouTube videos often appear at the top of google search results as well, so a well-optimized video can get a lot of views
- Optimize your videos: targeting the right keyword is only the first step; you’ll also need to add relevant tags, add a description including your keywords and write a clear, concise headline that contains your keywords and clearly explains what the video is about
- Create a consistent posting schedule: YouTubers who make a lot of money create and post videos constantly – and they usually follow a very consistent schedule. Their fans know exactly when a new video is coming up. This is also important because you need to create a lot of videos to start making good money – the more videos you create, the better the chances of boosting your views as well
- Create beautiful thumbnails for your videos: that’s the preview image that appears when you search for videos; a good one will attract more views – just take a look at the screenshot from earlier with the hummus search; all of them look beautiful and make you want to eat some hummus right now (if you love hummus as much as I do, of course!)
- Promote your videos across channels: don’t rely on YouTube organic traffic alone; if you want to maximize your views (especially when you’re just starting out and your videos aren’t likely to appear at the top of search results just yet), you need to leverage various channels to promote your videos: social media, your blog or website
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32. Join specialty sites to sell your niche services
Who it’s for: people who have a niche skill (such as graphic design, software development and so on)
How much can you earn: depends on the service you offer – but generally, niche services like graphic design and software development pay considerably better)
Start-up costs: none!
If you have a niche skill then there likely is a specialized website that focuses specifically on that niche; these types of sites are created to help connect buyers with service providers in an easier way. Basically, they’re just like Fiverr, for example, only they’re specialized in a specific niche.
For example, if you’re a designer (whether it’s websites, logos or even book covers), then join a site like 99Designs to sell your services.
33. Build a list and leverage email marketing
Who it’s for: anyone!
How much can you earn: it depends on your list – but you could definitely make a good living from email marketing if you have a big and loyal list. However, it’s important to understand that it takes time to build a healthy list and start making money – once you do get to a certain stage though, it’s just a question of keeping up the great work and sending regular emails to your list to keep growing and make more money
Start-up costs: you’ll need an email marketing tool – I use and recommend ConvertKit – to send automated emails to your list, a lead generation tool – I use (and recommend!) OptinMonster – and a landing page builder (Landingi is a super easy to use tool to quickly design and publish your landing page) to host your subscription form
Email marketing has huge potential – and anyone with a good idea can start.
Basically, here’s how it works:
- You create a landing page or a one-page website where people can sign up to your list and you explain why they should join; here’s an example of such a landing page, from Mister Spoils, a super popular niche email marketer:
- You set up an opt-in form to start collecting names and email addresses for your email list – as I mentioned earlier, I use and recommend OptinMonster (you’ll find a huge selection of templates you can use and numerous features to help you boost subscriptions) – here’s mine as an example:
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- Get an email marketing tool like ConvertKit to start sending emails to your list, including automated emails and automated email sequences (for example, when someone signs up for the first time, you’d want to send them an automated welcome email where you tell them everything they need to know about your emails and then send them a series of other emails designed to nurture these leads):
- Sign up for relevant affiliate programs: in order to monetize your list, you can promote relevant affiliate products and services within your email’s content. This is a highly effective way to make money with email marketing and the more your list grows, the more your earnings will to. With the right strategy and a big list, you can stand to make even tens of thousands of dollars a month (but, as I mentioned earlier, it takes time to build up!) – check out my affiliate marketing guide here to learn more about affiliate marketing and finding the right programs to sign up for
- Send regular email broadcasts to your list, using ConvertKit; some do this daily, some weekly (and some, somewhere in between) – it’s up to you how often you want to send emails. However, it’s important to make sure that you set a schedule and stick to it – and inform your list as well about how often you’re going to email them, exactly
As for the topic of your list, it can be pretty much anything you want; here are some examples to get you inspired:
- Marketing tips: send your list daily/weekly/etc. marketing tips, or focus on a specific marketing niche, such as social media marketing or search engine optimization; this way, you can make by promoting affiliate products like the marketing software that you too use
- Recipes: if you love cooking and have gathered some awesome recipes, send your list regular recipes and promote relevant affiliate products like cooking utensils, for example
- Motivational and inspirational content: send your list content to help motivate and inspire them and promote books and the like to make money
- Health and fitness: send workout ideas, workout plans, health tips and tricks and so on and promote related products such as healthy foods and workout equipment
As you grow your list, you might even consider creating some products by yourself and selling them via your emails – this is another great way to monetize an email list. For example, you could create:
- Webinars and online courses
- Membership sites
- Strategies, templates and checklists
34. Become a Virtual Assistant
Who it’s for: pretty much anyone who can use a computer
How much can you earn: beginner VA’s usually make under $10 an hour while the highly experiences VA’s who can do more complex jobs can get paid up to $40 an hour. However, it’s difficult to find such high-pay virtual assistant jobs as there are a lot of very cheap VA’s out there (however, they usually only do very basic stuff like uploading blog posts and data entry) but if you have some more complex skills – like copywriting or graphic design – you can stand to make upwards of $10-$15 per hour. In other words, your monthly income from one job can be anywhere from $500 to $1,500
Start-up costs: none – you just need your computer and wi-fi and you’re good to go
Virtual assistants are highly sought-after by businesses, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, as well as bloggers, so there’s a pretty big market for it.
People use VA’s for all kinds of reasons, such as:
- Data entry
- Call centre operators or customer service agents
- Social media management
- Content creation
- Administrative tasks
And as I mentioned in the beginning, the more specialized you are in a certain niche, the more money you can make from this.
To advertise your virtual assistant services and find clients, you can use freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.
35. Source sales leads for businesses
Who it’s for: people who have some experience with sales and lead generation (although just about anyone can learn how to do this!)
How much can you earn: it depends a lot on the quality of the leads and the number; for example, you can make around $30-$50 for 100 names and emails
Start-up costs: you’ll a need a tool like Snov.io to easily find names and email address for pretty much any website/company (so under $40/a month for 1,000 names)
Businesses needs leads in order to keep growing and scaling.
However, generating leads is a very time-consuming process with no guaranteed results. But here comes the easy way: they pay a freelancer to find leads for them and pay for a set number of leads. It’s a very small investment on their part but if even a few high-ticket sales results from it (for example, a high-end consulting session or another expensive service) that small investment can bring in an impressive ROI (i.e. return on investment) for that client.
And in my experience, if you can deliver a really high-quality list to your client and they see positive results, they’re almost certainly going to hire you for more projects.
After all, if it costs a business $100, for example, to get a list of 300 names and emails and they make one sale from it worth $1,000, then they’ve made a $900 profit (or even more in the long run, if the customer buys more in the future).
So it’s a very low-risk, high-reward investment for a lot of businesses.
Plus, it’s not a complicated job either and you don’t have to be a sales expert to get started; here are some tips to help if you choose this option:
- Learn about the client first: what is their business? What do they sell? Who is their target audience? You need to know this so that you know where to look for potential leads, and what the ideal lead looks like
- Use a tool like Snov.io to gather all the information quickly; you’ll need to provide names and emails addresses, company name, job title and in some cases, phone numbers – with Snov.io, you can get most of this information in a fraction of the time it would take you to manually research each company (it would simply be too time-consuming to be worth it)
36. Make money with commissions-based sales
Who it’s for: salespeople (and wannabe salespeople with a penchant for sales)
How much can you earn: it depends on how much the total sale is (high-ticket items that cost thousands of dollars will also be considerably more difficult to sell – but the reward will be all the higher too)
Start-up costs: none!
If you’re not already a highly experienced salesperson, or if you want to learn sales skills, it’s worth taking an online course to brush up your skills and learn new ones – you can find a bunch of great ones on Udemy:
The way it works is very simple; businesses and start-ups who can’t afford hiring salespeople will often hire freelancers to help them sell their products and services.
Then, for every sale you make, you’ll be awarded a percentage/commission from that sale – so the amount you make will vary a lot depending on how many sales you can close in a month and how valuable those sales are.
37. Perform market research for businesses
Who it’s for: those who love doing online research and who have a good understanding of marketing and business concepts
How much can you earn: anywhere from $10-$20 for basic research to a few hundred dollars for more complex research, containing SWOT analysis, competitor analysis and so on
Start-up costs: none to start with, but depending on the project size, you might need to invest in some research and competitive analysis tools to help you
Successful businesses need to do a lot of research: they need to know who they’re targeting with their product or services, who their competitors are and what strategies they’re using, understand consumer behaviour – and much, much more.
And because there’s no point in hiring someone outright to do this, it’s much easier and cheaper for businesses to outsource these types of projects to a freelancer.
Pretty much anyone can do this, but you do need to have a pretty good understanding of key marketing and business concepts, of consumers and their behaviour and generally, the kinds of information that businesses need in order to improve their strategies and their products or services.
So, if you don’t know what a SWOT analysis is, then this is probably not the job for you; however, you can always read up and learn, so no need to fret.
As for selling your services, you can use platforms like Fiverr to find clients.
38. Become a proof-reader or editor
Who it’s for: Grammar enthusiasts and avid readers
How much can you earn: about $10-$20 per 1,000 words on freelancing sites like Fiverr; so that means you’d earn about $2,000-$4,000 for a 20,000-word book
Start-up costs: none – although it would be very useful to invest in a tool like Grammarly to help you catch more errors; it’s a lot more powerful than a regular word processor and can catch a lot more errors (even complex errors that are much more difficult to spot)
If you love reading – and hate errors – then this might just be the perfect way for you to make some extra money online.
And in this era when literally anyone with an Internet connection can self-publish easily, there’s a lot of work to go around.
Besides, it’s not just novelists that need editing and proofreading services; bloggers, businesses and the like often create complex pieces of content that require that little bit of extra care.
Plus, you don’t need a bachelors’ in English (or another language) to get stared; as a freelancer, you can get started right away – if you’re not good, then that will speak in of itself.
However, it’s important to understand that editing a book isn’t just proofreading; it’s a lot more than that; you also need to be very aware of things like:
- Character development
- Plot inconsistencies
- Language and style inconsistencies
- Clarity and authenticity
So it’s not just a simple case of changing “their” to “there” or shortening a few sentences here and there; rather, it’s understanding what the author wants to get across, what their message is and who are their characters so that you can provide constructive feedback that will genuinely help improve their writing.
39. Become a beta reader for writers
Who it’s for: avid readers
How much can you earn: about $5-$10 per 500 words on freelancing sites like Fiverr; that’s about $1,000 to $2,000 for a 20k-word book (however, those projects are definitely rarer!)
Start-up costs: none – just your time!
Another way that avid readers can make money online is from beta reading. Some authors, established ones in particular, can get beta readers for free (after all, fans will give anything to read your books before everyone else does, even if they have to provide feedback!); however, it’s much safer and more effective for authors to use a more experienced beta reader.
That’s because if you get free beta readers, there isn’t much incentive for them to give you honest and productive feedback – if they’re even capable of it. They’re most likely in it because they get a free book that they’d like.
A good, paid beta reader on the other hand, is getting paid for a specific service: to read your book in full and provide honest, productive feedback. They’re not editors so they won’t give you a lot of specific instructions on how to improve character development and critique your work in detail, but they’ll tell you their honest thoughts on the book and whether they caught any glaring errors or even if they didn’t like a specific scene in your book.
So if you love reading, head over to Fiverr and create an account to sell your beta reading services – it’s a great way to make some extra money doing something that you genuinely like to do.
40. Become an online consultant
Who it’s for: Those who are great with people and know a topic well enough to help guide and consult others
How much can you earn: a lot – a good consultant with a proven track record can easily ask for thousands of dollars for a few hours of their time. However, those are the best of the best; still, as you grow your online consultancy business and more people start to know you (and trust you), you’ll be able to charge a cool couple hundred for a few hours
Start-up costs: ideally, you’ll need to create a website/landing page at the very least where people can get more information about you and your services, as well as be able to reach out to you – so all you’ll need to get is hosting from Bluehost (it includes a free domain name) and a landing page builder like Landingi to create your page
Many of the bloggers who make a lot of money online, usually make their money from 3 main sources:
- Affiliate marketing sales
- Digital products, especially online courses
- And last but not least, consulting services
That’s because consulting can make them a lot of money – and takes very little of their time.
But what exactly do consultants do?
In short, they offer strategic advice to other parties. For example, an experienced marketer might come in to help a business get their marketing plan up and running and generating a positive ROI (return on investment). Or a legal consultant, who will help a client or a company to identify and solve any legal issues.
However, you do need to be very good at what you do in order to offer a good service; and not only that, but you also need to be good at talking to people and guiding them – the way you deliver your message is almost as important as the actual message.
So, what kinds of online consultancy services can you offer? Here are some of the most popular options:
- Marketing consultants, to help develop marketing strategies (it could also be more niche than that and focus on specific type of marketing: SEO, social media, content marketing and so on)
- Technology consultants, to help companies identify and implement the right technological solutions
- Human resources consultants, for attracting, assessing and selecting the right candidates
- Strategy consultants, to help uncover any issues in the operational system and help companies improve their overall performance
- Public Relations consultants, to help build up the reputation of a company
- Financial consultant, to help organizations and individuals with their financial decisions (however, you will need to get a license to practice this type of consultancy)
- Legal consultant, to help individuals and organizations identify, prevent and solve legal issues
41. Become a coach
Who it’s for: those who are great at motivating people and who have people skills
How much can you earn: there’s a lot of money to be made but it might take a while to get enough clients; that said, you can easily make a few thousand dollars a month from online coaching, and even $20,000+ as you develop a big roster of clients
Start-up costs: can be done for under $100-$200 – you’ll need website hosting, a website, a webinar tool to hold your meetings, and you might need some other equipment like a microphone and headset, depending on what you already have. Additionally, if you’re really serious about this as a new career choice, it would also be a good idea to get yourself certified as a coach (which will cost you, yes, but it also offer you more credibility and you’ll be better prepared to help others achieve their goals)
So we’ve just talked about consultants a bit earlier – what’s the difference between consultants and coaches?
Well, the main difference is that consultants are all about strategic advice while coaches, on the other hand, are focused on helping others get to where they want. They push people, they try to get the best out of them and they try help them achieve their objectives faster and more efficiently.
So what kinds of coaches are there?
There are actually a plethora of options; here are just some of the most popular types of coaching:
- Business coaching
- Executive coaching
- Leadership coaching
- Life coaching
- Career coaching
- Spiritual coaching
- Personal coaching
- Skills coaching
- Performance coaching
- Weight loss and fitness coaching
If you want to start your own online coaching business, here’s what you need to do:
- Pick your coaching niche: what kinds of coaching services can you offer? As you can see above, there are a lot of options, for pretty much any type of skill/knowledge; business coaching is probably one of the most popular options right now, but there are a lot of possibilities with pretty much any type of coaching. Consider your past experience and accolades, as well as your interests and passions and use that to pick a coaching niche that you’re confident in
- Get training and/or coaching certification: getting certification for coaching is not mandatory but it can help you a lot in your coaching career, especially if you don’t have a lot of accolades to help you show others why you’re the right choice for them. Plus, it can also help you teaching you what you need to do in order to be a good coach and further develop your coaching skills. Just look up accredited coach training programs in your country, using google – make sure to check whether they’re accredited or not before you start though!
- Create your business: get a business license and, ideally, consider speaking to a lawyer to help you draw up the coaching contracts to ensure you’re protected
- Build your business website: in order to get found online and start getting clients, you need a website. You can get hosting from Bluehost including a free domain name, and design your website yourself to save money, using premium WordPress Themes from ElegantThemes – it’s much easier to do than you might expect, but make sure to check out my guide on how to start a blog here for step-by-step instructions on how to build a website
- Get other useful tools and equipment: as I mentioned earlier, you’re also going to need some essential tools and pieces of equipment; first off, you’ll need a good webinar/online meetings tool to ensure your online meetings run as smoothly as possible – I recommend ClickMeeting; next, you might also need a better microphone and headset to ensure that your coaching clients can hear you clearly (and you can hear them clearly too, of course)
- Create a marketing strategy: getting your first few clients will likely be quite difficult to do because people don’t know you yet and therefore, don’t have a reason to trust you. Because of that, you can start by offering a powerful lead magnet on your website (a how-to guide, an e-book or something similar, that can offer a lot of value to your target audience) to build an email list (you can use OptinMonster to create your opt-ins and ConvertKit to manage your email subscribers and send them regular emails). What’s more, you should also consider offering some short coaching sessions in the beginning in the hopes of turning them into full-time clients or at the very least, to get some testimonials on your website that you can use to convince future clients. Plus, make sure to work on your website’s search engine optimization so that potential clients can find you on Google (I use SEMrush to help with my SEO, for example)
This can be a very lucrative business but it will take a bit of time to get it off the ground; but, if you’re great at what you do and invest a lot in good marketing strategies (mainly SEO and your email list), you can become extremely successful and make good money from this business – in fact, it can easily turn into a full-time affair.
If you’d rather skip most of these steps and are scared to invest too much in your coaching business, you can also take the route of coaching platforms; basically, you sign up as an expert on these platforms and individuals and/or businesses will be able to find you and request your services. However, the competition is fiercer and the money will also usually be less. So if you’re really serious about doing this and turning it into an actual business, it’s worth considering creating your own business and website.
42. Run online workshops and retreats
Who it’s for: like with coaching services, this is perfect for those who are great with people and who have the power to guide and motivate people towards success.
How much can you earn: it depends on attendance but you could make a few hundred dollars (or even thousands, as you grow); however, you’ll have to pair this with blogging and/or email marketing (at the very least, it will make it much easier to promote and sell these services)
Start-up costs: The main thing you’ll need – and can’t be avoided – is a good webinar/meeting tool to run your online event; something like WebinarJam is perfect for this; you should also have at least a landing page where people can get information and sign up – you can use Landingi to build your page in minutes – as well as an email marketing tool like ConvertKit to build up your subscriber list and help you get clients; and of course, like with coaching, you should also get a better headset and microphone to ensure your workshops not only look great, but sound great
This is basically coaching or consulting for larger groups of people; there’s less money to be made from this and it’s not exactly a scalable model, but if you love working with people and helping them, it can be a great way to make some extra money.
But if you’re already a known coach or consultant in your niche, then you could get a lot of people joining your retreat – and make a lot of money in the process.
Basically, it’s kind of like developing a workshop or series of events, only completely online; it can be formed of:
- Live webinars where you teach your attendees different skills
- Live discussions and Q&A sessions with your attendants, where they can ask any questions and you answer them honestly
- Brainstorming sessions: help your attendants come up with new ideas by organizing group brainstorming sessions – it always helps to talk to more people and bounce your ideas off multiple minds!
- Online courses: teach your attendants new skills and help them further develop existing skills by using online courses
43. Run online corporate workshops
Who it’s for: consultants and coaches with a useful skill that they can teach and help businesses with
How much can you earn: you can earn a few thousand dollars for corporate workshops – businesses will normally be able to pay more for these kinds of services than individuals
Start-up costs: the main thing you’ll need is a webinar/online meeting tool like WebinarJam; plus, you’ll also need a website to promote and sell your services so you’ll need website hosting from Bluehost and a theme from ElegantThemes or just a landing page builder like Landingi
Businesses often use all kinds of tactics to educate their teams, improve their skills and in the process, offer a more attractive job prospect.
And one of the ways they can offer all of this is by getting them to participate in an online workshop.
As opposed to an online course, for example, this is a much more interactive experience that usually lasts at least half a day (or more – it can even be held over several days in some cases) where you not only teach these teams new skills but you also answer any questions they might have, give them exercises and tests and work together on practical case studies in order to help them learn more efficiently.
If you want to do this, then you’ll need to make a name for yourself first in order to prove your value as a coach/trainer; for example, you can build and grow a blog focusing on that specific niche, build a powerful LinkedIn profile (and become a LinkedIn influencer of sorts), get certified as a consultant and then start looking for companies you can sell your services to, using LinkedIn.
44. Become an online personal trainer
Who it’s for: people who love sports and fitness and are great with people – not just watching sports though, but actually doing them as well!
How much can you earn: a good personal trainer can make a couple thousand dollars a month; a great one can go up to $75,000-$100,000 a year; and the cream of the crop can make $100,000+ a year
Start-up costs: you’re going to need to get certified as a personal trainer first (which can cost you anywhere from $400 to $2,000, depending on the certification level); plus, if you don’t already have it, you might need some sporting and workout equipment to use in your online training sessions. Additionally, you’ll also have to build a website where you can promote and sell your services – so apart from the initial one-off personal training certification (although down the line, you might choose to get further certification as well), you’ll be able to keep your costs down to about $100-$200 per month (for hosting, email marketing and so on) + what you can invest in online ads (Instagram and Facebook are perfect for advertising your services and getting clients!)
A lot of people hate going to the gym – or it’s out of their way to go too often. Others love working out and they want to do it more often. And all of them have one thing in common: they need someone who will help them work out from a distance.
And that’s why they turn to online personal trainers: they can help motivate them, they can tell them exactly what they can do even in the comfort of their home and they can help them get into the shape they want.
If you’re already a certified personal trainer, then this option was probably already on your radar.
If you’re not though, it’s definitely worth considering if you love working out anyway and you’re good at what you do.
Basically, you’ll be able to make money online by doing something that you love, while also working on your health at the same time. It really is a match made in heaven.
So if you’re thinking of becoming an online personal coach and putting those muscles to good use, here’s what you need to know about starting your online personal training business:
- Get your certification: this will take a while – you’ll need to study quite a bit (from understanding exactly how our bodies work to the types of exercises to do for specific purposes) and then take (and of course, pass) your certification exam; you might also want to consider specializing and getting certification in a specific niche, such as weight loss or yoga – this will take more time (and a bigger monetary investment as well) but it can also help you get more clients and make more money in the long run
- Build your website: it doesn’t need to be too complex: the most important things you need are testimonials/success stories from past and existing clients, an About page where you explain who you are and what you can help others achieve, a contact/enquiry form and an online calendar where people can schedule training sessions with you and pay for them. Plus, it would also help to include some useful resources (such as food recommendations and some basic work out plans) and even better, a blog (this will help you get more organic traffic and therefore, more clients)
- Develop a marketing strategy: you’re going to need to learn some marketing in order to build up your client base. To start with, social media – and especially Instagram – can be an amazing source of clients if you know how to leverage it. Plus, you should also take the time to learn and practice good search engine optimization so that potential clients can easily find you online. And of course, make sure to build an email list – give them an amazing lead magnet to download (like a free workout plan, for example) and email them regularly so that you can nurture them into become your future clients
45. Start an online agency
Who it’s for: freelancers and marketing and PR experts who want to build their own business
How much can you earn: not a lot to start with, but if you’re already a freelancer and have a pretty good client base (and struggling to take on new work) you can build a successful business that makes thousands of dollars a month in profit, by outsourcing work to other, cheaper freelancers
Start-up costs: you’ll need website hosting, a website for your agency to start with – as your agency grows you’ll most likely need to invest considerably more in your business, but you can definitely start with just a website. Plus, you don’t need full-time employees, but you might consider getting a part-time virtual assistant from Fiverr to help you save time with all the admin tasks involved and focus instead on getting new clients for your new business
Starting an online agency sounds a lot more difficult than it actually is. However, although completely necessary, it’s a good idea to start first by offering these services as a freelancer just to get to know the business before you actually start it and even to help you get a head start on potential clients (if you offer a great service, then people will want to continue working with you).
Then, you can build an agency for pretty much any kind of digital services; for example:
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Content marketing
- Online advertising
- Graphic design
- Web design and web development
- Or better yet, full-scale digital marketing services, comprising of multiple different types of services (after all, they’re all related to some extent – like web design and web development with SEO and social media and PR)
As you grow your agency, you might consider hiring full-time employees; but when you’re just starting out, you can simply outsource your projects to quality freelancers and pay them on a project basis.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Pick your agency’s niche and establish the services you’re going to offer: for example, content writing for blogs and articles, whitepapers, e-books and so on; social media marketing services for different social networks; etc.
- Build your agency website: you can save up on start-up costs by building your own website using a pro theme from ElegantThemes and get website hosting and a free domain name from Bluehost(with 67% off the first year of hosting!)
- Set up fees for your services: check out your competitors’ fees as well and start putting together fees for each service, as well as premium packages to sell to your clients, containing multiple services
- Find freelancers, virtual assistants and remote workers: you can easily use Fiverr to find a VA and good freelancers to work with (they have numerous freelancers in pretty much any digital marketing niche you can think of, from social media to advertising and to SEO)
- Leverage experienced salespeople: you can also use Fiverr to help you find salespeople than in turn, will find sales leads for your agency; they can, for example, source leads from you that you then reach out to or you can pay salespeople on a commission basis so that they find you clients and you pay them a commission from that customers’ fee
46. Become an online interpreter or a translator
Who it’s for: people who know a foreign language very well
How much can you earn: not too much – usually about $5-$10 per 500-1,000 words. But if you know a foreign language very well, it can be an easy and even fun way to make a bit of extra money online
Start-up costs: it’s worth getting training and certification first – knowing a language well is not enough to become a good translator as there’s a lot more nuance to translating then simply knowing the words
Some people manage to make a living and travel the world at the same time with online translating – sounds like the dream life, right? However, it’s not as easy as just knowing a language well and it takes quite some time to build up a good client base.
Plus, not all languages are in demand; the most popular language pairs are actually: English to Arabic, English to Chinese, English to Japanese and English to Danish – these are in much higher demand than others and also tend to pay better because of that.
If you do think you have what it takes to become an online translator, though, I recommend you take a course on Udemy to help you understand how you can build a business out of freelancing.
47. Teach English online
Who it’s for: people who know English very well, preferably with a relevant English/writing bachelor’s degree
How much can you earn: depends on how many clients you can get, of course, but generally speaking, online English teaching jobs pay around $10 and up to $40 per hour
Start-up costs: ideally, you should get certified first but other than that, there are not many costs – you can create your own website if you want to keep all the money you make or you can just jump on relevant freelancing websites where you can promote your services and find clients
There’s very little effort involved in becoming an online English teacher – as long as you know the language extremely well, love teaching others (and are good at it) and have a good Internet connection and a Skype account (or something similar) you’ve got everything you need to get started.
However, like with all online freelancing projects, the struggle comes when you need to find clients: there’s a lot of competition and when you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to get people to take a chance on you – to help with that, you might consider offering some free lessons to start with, just until you get some positive reviews for your service.
48. Rent your stuff online and make money
Who it’s for: people who have flats, houses, equipment and so on, that they can rent
How much can you earn: a few hundred or even thousands a month
Start-up costs: minimal – in fact, you can even start for free when it really comes down to it
Ok, so this one is a bit of a loophole as it’s not 100% online – all the transactions happen online but they also require some offline work as well.
So, what exactly can you rent?
- Use Airbnb and other similar services to rent your house/flat or just some a private room in your flat
- Use Turo (or similar services) to rent your car
- Rent your clothes (or sell them!)
- Rent professional equipment, such as pro cameras
Basically, you can rent out almost anything of real value; services like Airbnb pretty much changed the landscape completely and since then, all kinds of apps and services have popped up all over the world, helping people save money on the things they need, by allowing them to rent stuff out, rather than having to buy them outright.
So if you have anything of value – like a house or a professional piece of equipment – then you can make start making money immediately by renting it out via a safe platform.
49. Perform data analysis for businesses and enterprises
Who it’s for: people who are passionate about and know numbers and data and have experience in this domain
How much can you earn: companies will pay upwards of $20 per hour for data analysis services
Start-up costs: none
If you’re passionate about numbers and data and have some experience in this area, you’re in luck: this is a highly sought-after skill as companies need data analysts to help them understand their data and learn how to leverage it.
However, you do need to have some experience with data, data analysis, statistics and the tools and software needed to perform this work.
But if you do, you can advertise your services on platforms like Fiverr and Flexjobs and either work on a freelance project basis or even as a part-time or full-time remote job.
50. Become a social influencer
Who it’s for: people who are amazing at social media
How much can you earn: once you build a strong, engaged following (even just tens of thousands of followers, you don’t need millions – you just need a genuinely engaged audience) you can make upwards of $500 for a single sponsored post on your social media channel
Start-up costs: none – and you can start investing more as you grow and start to make money from it
Becoming a social media influencer is not easy – but it’s also not as difficult as you might think. The thing is, people don’t become influencers just because they “have what it takes” or are incredibly beautiful or talented at something.
If you look at it in a strategic, business-like way, your chances of becoming an influencer will grow exponentially. It will take some time, yes – but it certainly can be done.
Instagram is probably the best platform to get started; beyond choosing the platform though, here are some essential tips to help you build up an audience:
- Pick a niche: there’s money-making potential with pretty much any niche you can think of, so pick something that you’re genuinely passionate about; for example: food and cooking; fashion; make-up; creative skills;
- Do your research: What do others in this niche post? who are the influencers in that niche? What kinds of posts get the most engagement and the most shares? Use this research and knowledge to understand what kind of content works and what doesn’t and to plan your own content strategy accordingly
- Build a social media calendar and posting schedule: if you want to make it, then you need to post new update consistently and regularly. You can’t just take a break for a day or 2 just because you’re not feeling it; so before you start anything, plan a schedule that you can stick to, ensure you’re posting new content daily and better yet, create content in advance so that you always have something to post, even if you’re super busy that day, not feeling well, or whatever else might be keeping you from creating and posting updates
- Engage, engage, engage: influencers are influencers not because they have huge followings necessarily (although that certainly helps!) but because they have highly engaged followers. They essentially build a community of people who genuinely care about their posts, who constantly follow them and their content, who share their posts and buy the products and services they recommend. That’s why a lot of brands work with micro-influencers who have fewer than 100k followers (even 10k can be enough if your audience is engaged enough!)
- Monetize your influence: once you get to a certain stage, you can start monetizing this influence in a variety of ways; most notably, with brand sponsorships (whereby relevant brands will pay you to create sponsored content promoting their products or services) and even with affiliate marketing (refer to the affiliate marketing section to learn more if you’re not already familiar!)
It’s important to understand though that becoming a social influencer is a lot of work and there’s no guarantee that you’ll make it. But if you follow these tips, create amazing content and post new content consistently (and then wait a few months!) you definitely stand a good chance of achieving this goal and start making money online.
51. Offer voice over services
Who it’s for: people who have a “radio voice” (hint: record yourself and ask your friends for their honest opinion)
How much can you earn: you can make upwards of $30 for recording about 100 words of voice-over
Start-up costs: you’ll need professional equipment so that you can record your voice and make sure it sounds great; search for podcasting kits as they contain everything you need to get started – they can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000
There’s a really big demand worldwide for voice over services for all kinds of reasons:
- Audiobooks (that can be a really lucrative gig as e-books tend to have 20k words or more)
- Internal projects (for example, creating corporate videos, director’s cuts, and so on)
However, you need more than just a good voice – you also need some acting abilities in order to express emotion.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to get started though, you can easily start by advertising your voice over services and finding clients using a platform like Fiverr.
52. Get paid to play video games
Who it’s for: avid gamers
How much can you earn: depends on how good you are – but you could make a few thousand dollars
Start-up costs: none, as long as you have a good webcam (I’m going to assume you’ve already got a game to play J
If you’re my age, you’ll probably find this baffling – but people can actually make money just by playing games and streaming online.
All they need is a game to play, a Twitch channel and a personality that drives people in to watch.
If you’ve never heard of Twitch, it’s basically the biggest streaming platform for gamers, where anyone can start streaming the games they play live, and start earning money with different tactics:
- Asking for donations from viewers
- Earning ad revenue
- Collecting subscribers for their channels
However, it’s important to understand that not just anyone can make a lot of money with this strategy; on Twitch, for example, the top 5,000 channels make up 75% of all viewing time – which means that they’re also the top earners on the platform.
But if you love gaming, this is such an easy way to make money doing something that you genuinely love, that’s it’s definitely worth a shot even if you might not be making a fortune. But who knows? You might just turn out to be the next Pewdiepie – he started out on Twitch too and is now worth an estimated…
Wait for it…
Yes, that’s in American dollars.
Now that you’ve made it to the end of this admittedly very long, epic guide on how to make money, it’s pretty clear that you don’t need a time machine to go back to the 90’s to start making money online. There are, in fact, a plethora of possibilities for pretty much any skill level, knowledge and age – and even the level of involvement from your part and the amount you want to make.
If you want to make some extra money every month, you’ve got dozens of options to choose from.
If you want to make a living by working from your jammies, full time, go for it: you’ve got the opportunities, it’s just up to you to take them.
And if you want to make tens of thousands of dollars every month, you can: you’ll just need to work extra hard to do it.
Can you really make money online?
Absolutely – and there are a lot of options to choose from too, depending on your skills, skill level and how much work you’re willing to put in.
How much money can you really make online?
The possibilities are pretty much limitless; it depends on what you can do and how much work you can put in.
For example, you could make a few hundred dollars by doing some freelancing services; on the end of the spectrum, you could also make hundreds of thousands of dollars if you build a successful blog and monetize it – it’s up to you what route you want to take but you’ll need to work a lot to make a lot of money and be prepared to be patient as it won’t happen overnight.
I want to start making money now – what are my options?
Freelancing is a great method to start making money quickly, although it can be difficult to get clients when you don’t have any other reviews yet. I recommend you try Fiverr to promote your services and find clients.
Another way to make money online faster is to find publications that pay for content and guest posters and submit great articles (however, they don’t usually pay very well so you’ll need to do a lot of writing – plus, some take a while to send payment).
Most online money-making strategies take some time to build up but they can really pay off in the long run.
What are the best ways to make money online?
Online courses, affiliate marketing and blogging – especially blogging, because that can help you launch a bunch of other products (like online courses) and help you make money from a wide array of sources.
I recommend you sign up for my free 7-day email course to find out how to start making money blogging within the first 3 months (you can find at the end of this guide)
I just want to make a little pocket money every month – what are the best options?
There are a lot of options; most notably:
- Freelancing gigs (check out Fiverr and Flexijobs to find opportunities and promote your freelancing services)
- Guest blogging for publications that pay
- For gamers: streaming your gaming sessions on Twitch
- Selling your photos and videos online