Ranking the best ways to make money online

I don’t know about you, but I love digital everything.

It’s opened up so many opportunities—from connecting with far-away friends to simple conveniences.

My favorite, though, is how easy it is to make money online.

Whether you want to work from home, start a home-based business, or just make some extra money, there’s a good way to do it…

Online…

From your kitchen table.

You just have to find the approach that works for best for you.

Which is why, in this article, I’m giving you 22 incredible ways to make money online. All of these ideas are valid. All are proven to work. And all of them have the potential to give you a good income.

So let’s not waste any time. Here they are—22 of the best ideas we’ve found for making money online.

1. Start a digital marketing agency

Digital marketing is how businesses do marketing today. Since their customers are online, that’s where they want to connect—through email, social media, websites, and funnels.

Which means this is your absolute best bet for making money online.

And the good news is you don’t have to be an expert in everything related to marketing. You can specialize in one area and do just fine.

So if you know how to do email marketing, write sales copy that converts, or manage a social media community…

If you know how to build funnels, run an outreach campaign, or optimize a web page…

You’ve got what it takes to start a digital marketing agency.

The need is there. You just need to get the word out that you can help.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Build a portfolio of marketing campaigns or projects in your chosen niche. Make sure you have metrics to prove your work can get results.

Step 2: Build a website to promote your business. Be sure to explain what you do, who you do it for, and how to get started working with you.

Step 3:  Use Clickfunnels to create a funnel that generates leads. Then set up a 15-minute consultation call to evaluate their needs and explain how you can help them.

Example:

Best place to learn:

2. Start a freelance business

make money online as a freelancer

As a freelancer, you’re self-employed, and you aren’t necessarily committed to any one employer.

Instead of an employee who pays you a salary, you work with clients, either on retainer or doing one-off projects.

They key, of course, is to offer a service that people need, like writing, editing, translation, or the like. And then to get the word out so you’re able to attract clients who love what you do and are willing to pay well to have you do it for them.

Be aware, as a freelancer, you don’t have a steady income. But once you establish yourself, you can take your pick of clients and control when and how you work.

Want to travel the world? As a freelancer, you can!

Here’s what to do to get started.

Step 1: Pick a niche and identify your best clients. Create an offer they can’t resist.

Step 2: Build a website with samples of your work. Sign up to freelancer sites like Fiverr and Freelancer.com.

Step 3: Take on client projects and wow them with the quality of your work. Word of mouth will often take over once you get a few projects under your belt.

Example:

Best place to learn:

3. Sell garage-sale finds on eBay

If you love garage saling, finding cool items, and fixing them up…

You’re already half-way to a lucrative business as a seller on eBay.

eBay is an auction site that lets you set up online auctions or sell products for a flat price. Either way, you can make out like a bandit by supplying high-quality items that you find dirt cheap at garage sales, free on the curbs of nice neighborhoods, or anywhere for that matter.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Sign up and list your products.

Step 2: Optimize your listings with great pictures and descriptions. Make sure they’re SEO optimized, too, so they’ll show up when people search for items like yours.

Step 3: When a purchase is made, box up your item, print your label, and ship it to your customer.

Example:

Best place to learn:

4. Open an e-commerce store

E-commerce is becoming a popular way to buy, and tools like Shopify make it easy to open an online store.

So if you’re interested in selling physical products in your own e-commerce store, now is the time to open shop.

And don’t worry about having to rent a warehouse to store your inventory. With dropshipping, you can order products as they’re purchased, and have your suppliers ship them directly to your customers.

Here’s how to get set up.

Step 1: Figure out what you want to sell and find suppliers who offer dropshipping.

Step 2: Sign up at Shopify and add the products you’ve chosen from your suppliers.

Step 3: Drive traffic to your store with advertising, social media, and blogging. Then, as sales come in, order and ship the products to your customers.

Example:

Best place to learn:

5. Invest in real estate

invest in real estate

Believe it or not, you can become a real estate mogul without actually buying property or being too hands-on.

See why I love digital so much?

One way is to be an investor. You can invest in REITs (real estate investment trusts), real estate mutual funds, and real estate exchange-traded funds. That gives you a stake in real estate without having to buy property at all.

Another option is to set up real estate partnerships. With this, you partner with other people, and each of you takes on different responsibilities. So you may only take on the down-payment or mortgage payments but not have to manage the property.

Finally, you can become a real estate appraiser, determining the value of property for brokers and agents.

Let’s look at how you could get started.

Step 1: Decide how you want to invest in real estate.

Step 2: As an investor, you’ll want to set up an investment account on Schwab or E-Trade. As a buyer, you’ll want to find partners and real estate deals. As an appraiser, you’ll want to build a website and market your services like a freelance business (see #2 above).

Step 3: Watch the market and make sure you buy low and sell high.

Example:

Best place to learn:

6. Become an affiliate

Want to make money online without selling services, creating a product, or even dealing with customers? If you’re comfortable with marketing, you can promote other people’s products and make good money without all the hassles of running a traditional business.

Affiliates are people who partner with traditional businesses to market their products for them—and are paid on a commission basis. Depending on the agreement, affiliates will be paid per sale or per lead.

If you’re a skilled marketer or if you have a website or blog with an established audience, affiliate promotions are a great idea. They can give you a good stream of income without a lot of extra work.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Visit affiliate sites like ClickBank and Shareasale to find affiliate programs that could be a good fit for you.

Step 2: Sign up for the programs you like.

Step 3: Start promoting the affiliate products in your blog, in social media, and through email.

Example:

Best place to learn:

7. Start a blog

Got a message, story, or solution you want to share with the world? A blog is the best way to get it in front of your followers.

And today, it’s easy to monetize your blog, so you can make money doing what you love. It’s as simple as writing great content to build your audience, then getting sponsors, running ads, promoting affiliate products, or selling your own products.

How do you get started?

Step 1: Build a website that has a subscriber form on it. (AWeber or MailChimp are great email services to get started with.)

Step 2: Start publishing blog posts and sending out emails to your subscribers.

Step 3: Start engaging with your followers, so they’ll respond to your offers.

Example:

Best place to learn:

8. Become a YouTube personality

youtube personality

Hate writing? You can let your sparkling personality shine by becoming a YouTube personality. And you can monetize in exactly the same way you would on a blog.

As a bonus, you can combine these ideas and post your YouTube videos on a blog, so your followers can enjoy your videos whenever and however they like.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Create a YouTube channel.

Step 2: Start creating educational (and fun-to-watch) videos.

Step 3: Engage with your followers, so they’ll respond to your offers.

Example:

Best place to learn:

9. Become a consultant

Some people want done-for-you services. Others want a consultant who will guide them as they do it themselves. Which means consulting is the perfect add-on to a freelance business, a blog, or a YouTube channel. It’s also a great stand-alone gig for making money online.

Step 1: Build a website with a lead-generation form on it. (Use AWeber or MailChimp to build your forms.)

Step 2: Let people know about your consulting services by blogging, doing social media, and sending out emails to people who are a good fit.

Step 3: Give your clients huge success. Add their testimonials on your website. And let word-of-mouth take off.

Example:

Best place to learn:

10. Write and sell ebooks

write and sell ebooks

A fun way to make money online is to write and sell ebooks.

Your books can be fiction or nonfiction, long or short, entertaining or educational. As a self-published author, you can do whatever you want.

Be aware, you’ll need to able to manage the production of your ebook, from writing to editing and proofreading, from layout to uploading to Kindle. And don’t forget marketing. That’s how you’ll attract fans and followers.

Still with me? Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Write your book. Get beta readers to show you where it needs improvement. Then hire an editor to make sure it’s perfect.

Step 2: Layout your book and get cover artwork. Then upload to Kindle.

Step 3: Celebrate your book launch.

Example:

Best place to learn:

11. Do lead generation

Most businesses need a steady flow of new leads to grow. But they don’t have time to focus on getting leads—they just want to follow-up with them so they can get more customers and clients.

As a lead generation specialist, you’d generate the leads and sell them to your clients—most likely in industries like insurance, financial, and mortgage.

And you can easily automate your process, so you’ll earn good money without having to invest a ton of time.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Choose your niche and how you’re going to collect leads.

Step 2: Set up your system. You’ll need a website and a funnel at the very least.

Step 3: Get clients who are hungry for your leads.

Example:

Best place to learn:

12. Create a membership website

A fun and lucrative way to make money online is to start a membership website. This is a blog on steroids, because you create a steady stream of content that’s only available to paying members.

You can still publish a free blog to attract new members, but your good stuff is behind the paywall.

Your membership website can be about anything—like cooking, finding your true love, growing a business, or becoming a leader. Just pick a topic you’ll enjoy writing about for years to come.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Choose your niche and the problem or solution you’ll be focusing on.

Step 2: Build your website and set up your members area with a good membership plugin.

Step 3: Use webinars, blog posts, and ads to promote membership.

Example:

Best place to learn:

13. Build an app

make money online as an app developer

With just one app, you can create a steady income—provided that app is useful or fun to use.

Step 1: Figure out what your app needs to do to solve a problem or be super entertaining.

Step 2: Build the app so it’s intuitive and fun to use. It’s a good idea to have a limited version that’s free, so people can see how useful it is and want to upgrade.

Step 3: Get the word out. Submit your app to the Apple App Store, Android Market, the Chrome Web Store, and more.

Example:

Best place to learn:

14. Sell courses on Udemy

When someone wants to learn how to do something, they turn to the Internet. And if you’ve got a course set up on a site like Udemy, they’ll likely find your course.

Today, you can easily add a few hundred to several thousand a month to your income with high-quality, engaging courses on Udemy.

Of course, you’ll need to have the tools to create high-def videos, and you’ll need to create a cluster of courses, so you become an expert in your chosen topic.

It’s easy to get started.

Step 1: Choose your topic and the problem you’re going to solve in your course.

Step 2: Write the script and record your videos.

Step 3: Upload your lessons to Udemy.

Example:

Best place to learn:

15. Start a podcast

be a podcaster

Like a blogger or YouTube personality, a podcaster talks about things that are entertaining, useful, and sometimes educational. They can also monetize their show with sponsorships, ads, affiliate promotions, and product sales.

A podcast is an audio file that people can download and listen to whenever they want. It’s a terrific way to share your message and build a community of followers.

Like TV shows, a podcast can be broken into seasons. And you can use them to tell stories, share news, do interviews, teach, or entertain.

Step 1: Choose your topic, format, and goals.

Step 2: Set up a website and hosting service for your audio files.

Step 3: Start publishing and promoting your podcast.

Example:

Best place to learn:

16. Narrate audiobooks

If audio is your thing, you can make good money narrating audiobooks.

In 2017, 68 million audiobooks were borrowed from libraries and schools, and nearly a 5th of people listened to an audiobook.

To succeed as a narrator, you need to think of yourself as a voice actor. You’ll be creating distinct characters, creating pacing and mood. You’ll also be your own director, quality control, and sound technician. And quality matters! Your recordings need to be perfect.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Set up a home sound studio where you can do your recording.

Step 2: Sign up on voice acting sites like ACX and Voices.com. Then choose a book project for an audition.

Step 3: Produce killer recordings, and build a website to promote your work.

Example:

Best place to learn:

17. Sell services on task sites

People are busier today than ever. Which is why they’re often relieved to be able to pay someone to do small tasks for them.

And sites like TaskRabbit let you find tasks that are a good fit for you, so you can earn a few bucks. Projects could be anything: running errands, making deliveries, decorating, assembling furniture, being a personal assistant. Whatever someone’s requested.

It’s easy too. TaskRabbit notifies you of potential jobs near you. You select the ones you’re interested in and confirm with your client. Then you do the job and submit your invoice.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Create an account on the site. You’ll fill out your name, email address, mobile phone, and zip code.

Step 2: Find jobs you like at a rate you choose.

Step 3: Do great work so you earn good reviews and earn higher rates.

Example:

Best place to learn:

18. Sell crafts on Etsy

make money on Etsy

Etsy is an online marketplace for arts, crafts, and vintage items, as well as unique factory-made products. If you enjoy doing fairs, you’ll love Etsy.

You can sell your products with no website and no e-commerce site. Just upload your products to your Etsy page, and you’re set.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Set up your Etsy account.

Step 2: Upload your products to your store.

Step 3: Take good care of your clients so they leave rave reviews.

Example:

Best place to learn:

19. Sell stock photos

The internet thrives on photos and graphics—something you definitely want to tap into if you’re a photographer. And the easiest way to do that is to sell your photos on microstock websites like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto.

There are 5 top stock photo sites: Shutterstock, Fotolia, iStockPhoto, Pond5, and Adobe Stock. Each has its pros and cons, but all of them give you a way to sell your photos without ever having to build a website or promote your work.

Be aware, this is a long game. You won’t make a lot of money at first, but the more photos you have in your portfolio, the more earning potential you’ll have. And once you have a thousand or more photos out there, you can actually make good money.

Step 1: Register with photo sites, take any tests that may be required, and upload your best images for review.

Step 2: Once approved, keep uploading great stock photos to your profiles. Be sure to optimize them for search by adding appropriate keywords.

Step 3: Be persistent. Keep adding to your portfolio. Do your best work.

Example:

Best place to learn:

20. Sell physical products on Amazon

make money as an Amazon seller

Amazon is the king of e-commerce…

And they want to stay that way.

Which is why they make it easy to sell your products on their site. With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you sell your products, and they pack and ship your orders for you. They even provide customer support for you’re the products you sell with them.

There is a learning curve to get started, but once you’re going, FBA is a great way to sell products online.

Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Figure out what you want to sell. Find a supplier, and work with them to create a unique private label product.

Step 2: Sign up to Amazon FBA, and deliver your inventory to them.

Step 3: Set up your product pages. Promote and advertise to start selling your products.

Example:

Best place to learn:

21. Become a columnist or content writer

A columnist is a writer who publishes a daily or weekly article in magazines and newspapers, both print and digital. Content writers don’t have a column, but they write articles on a regular basis.

If you love writing or have expertise in a specific topic, you can make money online by writing columns or articles.

Here’s how.

Step 1: Find a publication or website you’d like to write for.

Step 2: Approach the managing editor with your idea—either a column or an article you’d like to write for them. Nail down the terms of your contract.

Step 3: Write your heart out. Make sure you meet deadlines and turn in your best possible work.

Example:

Best place to learn:

22. Do multilevel marketing

While most people don’t think about multilevel marketing as an online opportunity, to really succeed, you’ll likely rely on social media and a website. Which means you can make money online with any MLM you like.

Of course, you need to be a killer marketer, so make sure you understand how to sell online.

Whatever you do, don’t sell non-stop to your friends and family. That’s only going to alienate them. Check this out for a better way.

Step 1: Find a good MLM and sign up.

Step 2: Set up your sales channels. Be sure to prioritize your website and social media channels.

Step 3: Start selling and recruiting so you can rise through the ranks.

Example:

Best place to learn:

That’s It!

The 22 best ways to make money online. All of them good options that can help you create a steady stream of income.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

What have you tried to make money online?

How did it work for you?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

 

Meet the Author

Kathryn

Kathryn Aragon is a copywriter, content strategist, and author. She writes about marketing, success, health, and living the good life. Follow her on KathrynAragon.com.

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