20 different ways to make money online and tips on how to keep making a profit
Making money online, from the comfort of your desk chair sounds too good to be true. People who make money online have a reputation for being either scam artists or incredibly lucky.
What if we told you that it was possible to make money online without being either? All you need is some time and the willingness to make your business a success.
The easiest way to start making money online is to monetize doing what you love – sell your paintings, publish movie reviews, or start a travel blog. But if you have grander ambitions you may want to look into activities like drop shipping.
Today, we are going to talk you through the ins and outs of starting an online business and share with you 20 amazing ideas for making money online. By the time you finish this article, you will be ready to start making more money.
What Is Your Goal?
Everyone is drawn to starting an online business for a different reason. It is important for you to keep that reason in your mind while you are building your business. Some days will be hard and you will want to give up, on these days, think back to why you wanted to start your business in the first place.
To Be Your Own Boss
If you have ever wanted to be your own boss then starting an online business is a great way to do this. Especially if you don’t have a lot of money to your name. When you start an online business you only really need to pay for a domain name and a website building program. The rest you can make up for with hard work and dedication.
Traditional working spaces do not accommodate everyone in society. However, online businesses have opened up a whole new world of employment opportunities for everyone.
Earn Extra Money Alongside Your Full Time Job
There are many reasons why you might want to earn more money on top of your full-time job – you want a bigger house, a better car, you want to put your kids into a good college. Whatever your reason, working online could be a fruitful opportunity for you.
When you are starting your own business online, you will discover that it takes a lot of work to get it off the ground. Because of this, you may find that you are having to spend a lot of your free time on your business. This is normal, it will be worth all of the effort in the long run.
To Help Online Businesses And Communities
You may want to start your business because you have seen a problem and want to fix it. This is a great reason to start a business and will often lead to a successful business if lots of other people have the same problem.
You may have noticed a problem in the industry you are currently working in, or someone you know may have mentioned the problem to you. Whatever the reason you have decided to solve this problem, you shouldn’t be afraid to act on it.
You could put yourself in a position where you are improving other people’s lives and making money while doing it.
You will want to research different opportunities and platforms that allow you to start making money.
Once you have decided that you want to start an online business it is time to start researching.
If you have an idea of what kind of business you want to run then you can start researching that marketplace straight away. You will want to see how saturated the marketplace is, what kind of services your would-be competitors offer, and how well reviewed they are. You will also want to look at how much they are charging for what they do.
If you are not yet sure what you want to do then you should write down the things that you love to do and the things that you know a lot about. Then see if anything on that list could be applied to the 20 different types of businesses we have listed below.
Once you have got an idea or two about what you might want to do (remember, that you do not have to limit your business to one avenue of profit-making) then it is time to start researching where your business will fit into the market.
Top 20 Ways to Start Making Money Online for Beginners
We have now reached the really exciting part of the article. The part that will get your creative juices flowing and help you to dream up your ideal online business.
Below we have listed 20 of the most popular and profitable forms of making money online.
Are you an expert on a subject? Is there something in your life that you are incredibly passionate about? Have you ever considered starting your own blog about it?
There are two different ways that you can make money from blogging – advertising on your blog and through affiliate marketing links.
If you write a blog post that lots of people want to read then you can place ads on your blog, you will then get paid through an advertising network such as Google Adsense.
If you talk about a product and use an affiliate program, when the reader clicks on the affiliate link and makes a purchase, you will get a share of the profit.
2. Earn Money Online by Vlogging
If writing isn’t your thing, then you might want to consider making a vlogging channel instead of a blog. Vlogging (video blogging) can be a lot quicker to do than blogging, depending on the level of production value you are going for.
You can still make money through vlogging if you put your affiliate links in the description box of your videos. This works the same way as putting a link in a blog post, you will get a share of anything brought using the link.
3. Create a YouTube Channel
Youtube is one of the stablest careers when it comes to making money online.
To make money from Youtube, you will need to be part of their partnership program. You can join the partnership program when you get to 1000 subscribers. After you have joined the partnership program you will make money for each view that you get on your video and you can choose to place ad-rolls before, during, or after your video.
The one downside of Youtube channels is that you will not make any money from them until you reach 1000 subscribers. For some topics this can take a few months, for others it can take years.
4. Online Reviews
If you are an expert in a field then you might have some valuable information to share with other people interested in a topic.
For example, if you know a lot about motorhomes then you could review types of motorhomes that you have tried – letting people know what is worth their money and what isn’t. On this site, you could also review the places you have visited and talk about how good they are for beginners or experts in mobile homes.
If your opinion gains enough weight in the marketplace, companies might start paying for you to give your opinion on their products or services.
5. Sell Online (Amazon, eBay, etc)
Do you have a lot of old books and CDs lying around your house? Have you checked online to see if any of them are worth anything? Well, you should.
If you have items that you no longer need and they are in good condition then there is a good chance that you could make some money by selling them online on sites like Amazon and eBay.
CDs, records, and other more vintage items often sell for surprisingly large amounts of money on sites like eBay. Particularly limited edition pressings and colorways of vinyl albums.
6. Online Tutor, Teacher, and Mentor
Do you have a degree? Then you are qualified to tutor high school students and middle-grade students in that topic. If you did well in your degree you might even find that college students will also pay for your help.
There are many online tutoring agencies that are always looking for extra workers.
You may also find that there are people who are looking for tutoring or mentorship in your industry, who would be happy to pay for your advice and guidance. Check out your local business alliance and offer your services as a mentor to anyone in your industry.
7. Video Editing
If you know anything about video editing or you have learned how to edit videos because you are going to start your own Youtube Channel, then you could sell your services as a video editor.
There are many online creators that are happy to pay other people to edit their videos and put together their content for them. If you can offer your services at a good price and can provide all the necessary software yourself then you will have a long line of interested parties.
Just remember that your time is valuable and you should not undercharge and overwork yourself.
8. Affiliate Marketing
We have briefly touched on affiliate marketing earlier, as a way to build an income from a passion project blog. However, if you are interested in making some serious money then you should look into building blogs and websites purely for affiliate marketing profits.
Pick a topic that has lots of potentials – let’s say motorhomes again – then write as many blog posts and reviews as you can for the topic. In each article put at least 2-3 affiliate links in and watch your money slowly start to build up.
Amazon is the most popular affiliate program out there, however, they can be a bit temperamental.
9. Create an App
While the app boom of 2010 is a very distant memory, there is still lots of money to be made in the world of apps.
If you think you have a program you can offer people (i.e. a meditation program, an exercise program, a business building program) then create a subscription app. People can pay a monthly subscription fee to get access to your program.
Or you can create an app that makes its money through advertising or even microtransactions. Although, be careful with that last one because many countries are starting to ban apps that offer microtransactions in their games.
10. Design and Sell
If you are a creative person then you might be able to design and sell products online.
There are many different ways you can do this. You can sell on a big platform like Etsy, you can start your own online shop, or you can open up a subscription support service like Patreon.
There is a huge market out there for digital art, handmade clothes, notebooks, home decor, and much more. Your products will be especially popular if they are ethically sourced and environmentally friendly.
You can use social media platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram to advertise your shop and its products.
11. Buy and Resell
If you have the budget for buying a large amount of stock upfront then you should consider setting up a dropshipping shop.
Dropshipping involves buying a large amount of product from the manufacturer and selling it online. As a drop-shipper, you will never physically have any of the products you are selling, instead, you will ship them straight from the manufacturer to the customer. You can mark up the price of the products as you deem appropriate.
Not having to hold stock means that you can switch up what you are selling to match the current trends of the market.
12. Online Streaming
A hacker leaked the earnings of Twitch’s top streamers a few months ago and people were shocked to see that creators were making millions of dollars on the platform (before advertisement deals were even taken into account).
We’re not saying that everyone can jump onto Twitch and make $9 million dollars like Critical Role does, but there is a money-making potential on this site – especially if you have a strong personality and have a lot to say.
The most popular streamers are currently gamers, but the platform is seeing a rise in talk show-like content from newer creators.
13. Start a Podcast
If sharing your thoughts and opinions live doesn’t sound like your idea of fun but you still think you have something valuable to share with the world, then you should consider starting a podcast.
Your podcast can be an income stream for you and your business but you can also use it to promote the other things you do or to establish yourself as experts within a field. You can bring other experts in your industry on to the show to interview them or you can just do the podcast by yourself.
You can even take sponsorships on your podcasts if you want them to bring you a healthy income stream.
14. Become a Graphic Designer
If you are a talented artist then you might want to consider setting up a graphic design company and selling your skills.
Graphic design companies can do anything from making logos to designing ads, to even making book covers. If you have the skills and the imagination then the sky’s the limit with this type of career.
You might want to start off on a larger platform like Fiverr when you start out, this will allow you to build your reputation and your portfolio. Then you can branch out and start working from your own website when you are more established.
15. Create an Online Course
Can you use the skills that you have learned from your day job to make yourself money online? You can if they are skills that others might find valuable. If you know a lot about website building, writing, DIY, or other skills along those lines then you might want to start creating a set of online courses.
There are many sites that will allow you to stream and make money from online courses. Or you could host these courses from your own website. The important thing to remember is you want these courses to offer value to the lives of your customers and leave them feeling like they got their money’s worth.
16. Virtual Bookkeeping/Accounting
If you work or have worked as an accountant and have the strength to do more of it outside of work, then being an online bookkeeper for small businesses could be a great way to earn extra money. These are also skills that you could learn in order to open another avenue of revenue for yourself.
When you look on forums about small businesses and business taxes, you will find plenty of businesses that are looking for help with managing their finances. This may have been something that you looked into when setting up your own business.
17. Paid-Membership Community (Member-only websites, forums, etc.)
If you are someone who already has an established business or social media platform then you may want to consider setting up a members-only subscription club. The people who join this club can have access to extra content, behind-the-scenes content, or exclusive deals.
The idea of these members-only clubs is that the members are willing to support you and allow you to create in the way you want to, and in exchange, they are the ones who get to see what you make first or get discounts on your services.
18. Invest Money (Bonds, Index Funds, etc.)
Thanks to the rise of the cryptocurrency market, it is now easier to invest as a lone investor than ever before. Do you have some spare cash and have the time to keep an eye on the stock market or on the crypto market, then investing can be a good way to make money online.
If you are interested in investing you should seek professional financial advice. Many financial gurus, such as Tony Robbins, recommend index funds. Don’t forget to invest in multiple things to keep your portfolio diverse.
19. Host Paid Webinars
Once you have established your business in the industry then you might want to consider sharing your knowledge with other people who want to start a business in the same market.
This can be a great way for you to raise money to expand your business or to invest in new software or hardware that you need.
Hosting live classes will allow you to meet new people and share your knowledge. They can be really fun and rewarding experiences. Most businesses will see a growth in sales thanks to online webinars and other live events like this.
20. Write an eBook
eBooks have long been touted as the easiest way to make money on the internet. Once you have written the eBook and uploaded it onto a selling platform then they can be a great source of passive income.
It is recommended that you don’t spend too long writing your eBook as you will reduce the amount of value you get from it in return.
If you are not confident about your ability to communicate then you could bring in a freelance writer to help you put the product together.
You can sell eBooks from your own website or on the Kindle store. Apple also has its own eBook selling system but it is much less popular.
Make Money Online Doing What You Already Know
You will have noticed that in the section above we talked about converting your passion into a way to make money. There is a good reason behind why we suggested this.
A lot of people will tell you not to try and make money out of your hobby because you will end up hating it. This may be true for some people, but we have found that a business is more likely to be successful if the people who are running it love the industry and are excited to be involved in it.
So, do you think running your own business online could be the right choice for you? Well, you have come to the right place.
Many people think that starting an online business does not require as much planning as starting a physical business, but this is not the case. You will still have to pay taxes on your profits, you will still have to register your business, and you will still have to pay any employees you bring on. Before you start making money online, you should get your finances and tax processes in order.
You will need to set yourself a business account with your bank. This will help you keep track of your different income streams and will save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to filling out your tax returns at the end of the year.
Make sure that you are keeping track of every cent that you spend on the business and every cent that you are earning from it. You will need to be prepared to explain it all to the IRS.
Before we leave you, we wanted to give you a few tips about how to keep making money with your business.
A lot of small business owners tend to lose steam because they think that doing things one way will always make them money. We wish this was true. Sadly, as a business, you will need to be constantly adapting to make a profit.
Keep Up-to-date With Online Trends
If you want to stay up to date with what is happening online and the things that your customers will want to buy, then you need to know what social media your ideal customers are using. Then you will need to make sure that not only is your business using those social media platforms but that you are also keeping track of the trends on those platforms.
At the moment, Tik Tok is a fantastic resource for online businesses that are looking to find customers. Its built-in algorithm is designed to show people the type of content they want to see based on how they interact with the app.
If you are selling Jane Austin-themed candles and you follow other Jane Austin-themed businesses then your products will be shown to people who like Jane Austen. You will also be able to take the time to see what other sellers are doing online. What is popular for them and how their customers are talking about their products.
Be aware that on this particular platform, trends come and go pretty quickly and it can be hard for businesses to keep up with. So just make sure that you are making choices based on trends that stick around for the long term.
Understand Your Marketplace
The first thing you can do to make sure that your business stays profitable is to keep on top of your market research.
We wish that the markets would stay the same and that one item would continue to be popular forever. It would make businesses much easier to run and manage. However, as consumers evolve, their tastes change, and if they love what we do they want to see something new and exciting from us.
This can feel like a lot of pressure, but if you have your market research to hand, you can stay ahead of the game.
Let’s look at an example, let’s say that you are making candles based on characters from books. Your best sellers might be characters from Pride and Prejudice. However, when a new series like Bridgeton comes out, there will be a demand for character candles from that show.
If you had been researching what new shows and books were coming out in the same genre as your current products, you would have noticed that Bridgerton was coming out and was likely to be a huge hit.
You would then have been able to prepare and have your new candles ready for when the show was released.
Research Your Competitors (if any)
Our final piece of advice is to keep a close eye on what your competitors are doing.
We are not suggesting that you take part in corporate espionage or copy everything that they are doing. However, we do suggest that you keep an eye on them and make sure that you are offering a better service or better products.
Keeping an eye on your competitors will also give you an idea of how the market trends are changing. Ideally, you would be ahead of your competitors in this department, but it is better to keep up with them rather than fall behind. Especially, if your competitors are much bigger than you in the market space.
When you first start your business you should do research into your competitors, as you will be able to learn a lot from them. There is no point starting at square one and learning everything the hard way when you can learn from the mistakes of others. Try to find out what systems they have in place to run their business and why.
If you are looking to be your own boss, make money online, or looking for a new challenge then starting an online business could be the right next step for you.
There are hundreds of different ways to make money online, and it is often possible to be exploring more than one of these avenues at once. We have listed 20 of the most profitable money-making activities for beginners in the article above. If you are interested in making money online then you should be prepared to work hard and try to stick to what you love doing. What are you waiting for? Today is the perfect day to set up your online business.