Ways to make money online

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Making money online

We are now living in an age where people are no longer limited on earning potential. We can thank technological advancements for this ability. The internet has made it possible for any person to make money online. Regardless of their age, geographical location, background, or even present financial resources, to generate an income online. If you have an internet connection and a smartphone/tablet/desktop, there’s truly no shortage of unique ways to make money online. But before we discuss that, we need to address a few important things that come with making money online.

Having the right mindset to make money online

First off, there’s no such thing as quick and easy ways to make money online. Most of these online schemes are not true businesses. There are a few that could earn you a few hundred dollars. However, they’re not going to help you gain long-term financial freedom. At best, they’re shortcuts that won’t last forever. Secondly, while the internet offers countless opportunities for making money online, it also has some unsavoury characters. These individuals or entities are looking to make money from you rather than help you make money. In short, get-rich-quick schemes often pan out to be a scam. Otherwise, they could be a way for hackers to get your personal information for fraudulent activities.

The truth is making money online is no simple feat; otherwise, there would be so many millionaires in the world. This isn’t to scare you off; we just want you to know that making legit money online requires one to put in real effort and time.

Well, enough of the red flags and the cautionary words (we could take an entire day discussing that). Let’s get right into the best ways you can make money online:

Online surveys

This is one of the easiest ways to make money online. Market research firms and brand name corporations continually seek consumer opinions on services or to test new products. These companies will offer cash, prizes, coupons, and even gift cards for it. Each survey takes a couple of minutes and will earn you $5, $10, or even more, depending on their complexity. This area has many scams where surveys will take a lot of time to complete and pay you very little. Also, be wary of sites that require you to pay to join their panels. Stick with reputable survey sites that offer plenty of surveys and pay well. Such sites include Gold Opinions, Swagbucks, OneOpinion, Survey Junkie, American Consumer Opinion, Opinion OutpostInboxdollars, and Toluna. Don’t expect a full-time income, but taking online surveys is a great way to make a couple of hundred dollars a month.

Watch videos

Are you an avid consumer of online videos or TV programs? Well, it turns out you can make money out of your habit. Sites like Swagbucks and InboxDollars offer opportunities to watch videos in various categories. These categories include as sports, news, and entertainment, and rate them to earn points or cash. You can easily redeem the points for gift cards or cash through PayPal. Of course, you won’t earn much, but it’s a great way to get started. You’ll have to watch for a given number of minutes/hours, which you’ll be told beforehand. These opportunities are, however, quite competitive and they are becoming fewer and farther between.

Play online games

Online gambling has gained popularity over the past couple of years. Where legal, it has become a full-time occupation for some people. You can play slots, table games, card games, puzzles, or even bet on sports at reputable online casinos. Your earnings may amount to significant cash flow. These sites even offer opportunities for massive wins with progressive jackpots and even lotteries. Considering gambling is mostly left to chance, keep in mind the probabilities of winning and losing. A safer alternative would be to play a game of skill such as poker. If you are a good player, you can make a decent or very good living playing in tournaments. Alternatively, you can do participate in matched bets. These allow you to gamble nearly risk-free for higher payouts. However, it involves betting on all outcomes of an event using free bets offered by online bookies.

You can earn meaningful amounts from the same online searches you conduct every day. This is thanks to a number of websites and plug-ins like Swagbucks and Qmee. These sites keep track of your online searches and share them with marketing and advertising companies. They pay users for completing various website tasks such as taking surveys, using their search engine, and watching videos. This gig isn’t lucrative, but since you can complete hundreds of searches in a day, the income potential is real. The only caveat is that you may be paid in gift cards rather than cash. However, you can use these gift cards to buy groceries or gas. Thus, making your internet searches worth the extra work.

Review websites

If you have an eye for design, you can consider being a website reviewer to earn some extra money. You would need to have a good understanding of user-experience to be able to effectively communicate potential improvements. For instance, you would need to determine design quality, cleanliness or intuitiveness of the layout and navigation. You would also be asked to assess if the content is clear and the website fits within the brand? There are sites that will pay around $10 per 20 minutes or $30 per hour for this user feedback. Some of the most common website feedback sites include Usertesting, TryMyUI, Userfeel, etc. Your feedback will usually be written, verbal, or using a screen recording software.

Review music

If you love music, you can make money online reviewing unsigned bands and artists on sites like Slicethepie. It might take a while to build your reputation for having good taste in music. However, once you gain a reputation for being a reliable and valued reviewer, you can make about $50 a month. This doesn’t seem like much but still a good way to make some money on the side. Plus, if it’s something you enjoy, it won’t seem like work.

Partake in online competitions

There’s a slew of online competition websites offering thousands of completions for you take part in. Types of competitions include answering questions over the phone or even being a contestant on a TV game show. They usually involve naming brands, company slogans, services, products, and even helping out on the logo design. The benefits include gift cards, holidays, prizes, and even cash. Entering competitions come with no guarantees. If luck is on your side, and some knowledge, you could win thousands of dollars through online competitions.

Become a virtual assistant

Small businesses and busy professionals usually lack the financial resources or office space to hire an on-site assistant. Thus, many have turned to virtual assistants (VAs). If you have a knack for planning and organisation, you can make money being a virtual assistant. VAs do everything from managing emails to bookkeeping and data entry. They also handle making travel plans, event planning, scheduling appointments, making phones calls, internet research, and more. In addition to making money online, being a virtual assistant offers a great opportunity to build up your professional network. Expect earnings of about $10-50 an hour, depending on your qualifications and job description.

Sell your products online

Selling your possessions is another easy and fast way to make money online. Even if you make intentional purchases, you’re bound to have things you no longer need or can do without. Most people think of selling their junk like old books or CDs. It’s 2020 and no one actually uses that stuff. When you’re looking to sell stuff online, you should focus on valuable items. Such items can be phones, laptops, furniture, clothing, handbags, jewellery, watches, or other similar items. Try selling on multiple sites to increase the chances of someone buying it. Some of the popular sites you can use include Amazon, CraigsList, eBay, etc. That being said, don’t overlook niche platforms that are relevant to what you’re selling. For instance, if you’re selling something crafty, do it on Etsy. If you’re interested in learning about selling via online marketplaces, you read our guide on how to start a business that sells on marketplaces for more information.

Become an online tutor

Sharing your subject matter expertise by teaching online is yet another great way to make money online. Math and sciences are usually in high demand and pay well. Teaching English online is also popular, especially among international audiences. To maximise your chances of succeeding as an online tutor, focus on subjects you know well. Also, find jobs on reputable tutoring platforms like Indeed and Chegg Tutors. Price your services in line with the market averages, or just below or above. Most platforms will require applicants to have a degree and/or relevant experience. This serves as as proof that they are qualified to tutor a particular subject. With the right qualifications, expect your pay to be $20+ an hour.

Start a YouTube channel

YouTube is the second largest search engine with over 30 million visitors a day. With such huge traffic, it offers high-income potential. Starting a YouTube channel is much like creating a website, except you’ll be producing video content instead of text. There are two types of YouTube videos: educational and entertainment. The former includes things like comedy videos, music videos, web series, vlogs, video game walkthroughs, and so on. The latter is more geared towards how-to videos. If you have useful skills or information to convey through video, then educational videos could be relevant. YouTube will enable monetization on your channel once you hit 1,000 subscribers. You’ll earn payouts based on 1,000 view increments.

Start a podcast

Although podcasting has been around for over 10 years, it has gone through a renaissance the past two years. Thus, the number and variety of podcasts has increased dramatically in recent years. Creating a podcast on a topic of interest will enable you to connect with like-minded listeners. If the content is engaging, you can build an audience who tune in to hear your thoughts and analysis. Your podcast can be a reflection of how you envision yourself as a story-teller, business person, entertainer. Once your audience has grown to a formidable size, you should consider looking for sponsors to keep your program going. You may also get contacted by companies who want to promote using your podcast. There are platforms such as anchor.fm, glow.fm, and supercast.com that enable creators to use online software to monetize podcasts. If you’re ready to dive in, you can read our full guide on starting a podcast.

Write content and become a blogger

People who love writing can make money blogging. Blogs are informational websites where writers offer information or share their views on subjects of their choice. You can blog about be anything from health fitness to finance, fashion, photography, parenting, career, and so on. Although it’s important to pick a niche to blog about. There is enough material and information online to help you create a website. Whether it’s choosing a domain name, web hosting solutions, picking a CMS, there are endless sources online. After launching the blog, it’s time to start creating high-quality content that will drive traffic to your site. After that, you can monetise your website by:

  • Placing ads using Google Adsense
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sell digital products
  • Offer sponsored posts or private ads from specific brands
  • Selling memberships
  • Selling leads

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that earning from a blog takes time. Building a blog, as well as your brand and authority in the industry takes several years to accomplish. But once you do, you can start to consider monetization. Publish relevant posts weekly and try to promote your content. Promotion can happen on various online channels, such as social media, forums and other sites.

Become a social media influencer

Businesses are forced to reach out to their target audience where they are found, which is on social media. For this reason, they are always looking for social media influencers to become their brand ambassadors. To become an influencer you need to build a massive following, preferably on Instagram, YouTube or TikTok. There are several ways you can make money online as an influencer. You can charge for sponsored posts, get paid for speaking gigs or to appear at an event. You can also add affiliate links to posts, get paid as a brand ambassador or sell ads on your podcasts. Alternatively, you can create an online store and sell products, among other things.

Write and sell eBooks

Many people dream of writing a book but they never get to do it for one reason or the other. You can package your knowledge, life experiences, or skills into a downloadable eBook. This can help other people advance their careers or learn a new skills. It can also cover topics such as starting a business or overcoming difficult moments in life. You can upload your book on one of the world’s largest online booksellers: Amazon. Thanks to Amazon Kindle store, publishing a book online has never been easier. Gumroad.com is another option for creators who wish to sell music, comics, software, books, and films directly to their fans. Gumroad charges between 3.5% – 5% on each purchase made through their site and they pay out creators every Friday. Ready to start writing your eBook? Checkout our online guide on creating and selling eBooks.

Join a remote company (part-time or full-time)

More and more companies, especially startups, are embracing remote work. Remote work provides benefits to trusty employees without the expenses and regulatory headaches of a full-time worker. These positions can be customer support, programming, designers, or even the job you have right now. Check out the small business around you or even larger companies’ career pages for remote work. You’ll also find remote jobs on sites like Flexjobs and Indeed. There are also other providers such as Remote.co, Europe Remotely, SolidGigs, Working Nomads, We Work Remotely. Each platform has their own requirements and testing for necessary qualifications. Most jobs will pay out around $10 an hour. However, those with more specialized skills can exceed rates well above $500 per hour.

Wrap up

This list comes nowhere near being exhaustive as there are still tons of ways to make money online. If you’ve seen something that interests you, learn more about it and try it out. With time and enough effort, you’ll be able to build an online stream of passive or active income.

As a whole, partaking in some of the above online money making methods will add some cash to your wallet. Depending on the time of year and economic conditions, some may work better than others. Instead of thinking of maximum earning potential, consider your own skill strengths and work satisfaction before deciding on which types of methods to go for.