Making money online might sound like a dream. But sitting in front of your computer (or Smartphone), wearing pajamas, using skills you already have CAN generate you extra income.
Whether you’re strapped for cash or in need of extra funds for a vacation or unexpected bill, you can make hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars online.
Our guide offers 10 simple and straightforward ways to make money online, starting today. With just a little time and effort, you can sell your skills and begin seeing the extra cash roll in.
1. Become a freelancer
Perhaps the easiest and fastest way to start earning an income online is by doing freelance work.
Do you know how to edit photos or conduct online research? Have people told you that you write well or have a knack for spotting errors in written text? Well, freelancing might be right for you.
With a range of freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, there are plenty of companies looking for people just like you—people to work for them on the side. Companies often use freelancers for special projects and ongoing work. They hire skilled folks to help them get the job done, whether that’s a website launch, a blog post creation, a spreadsheet formula, or a video that needs editing.
Freelance work can be done from your computer and sometimes your smartphone—basically any place where you have an internet connection. You can even freelance while you’re on holiday!
Freelance gigs are paid either on an hourly or per project basis. You can set your own hours and rates depending on what works for you (as long as the client agrees). This means that even if you have a busy full-time job, you can work a little extra at home on freelance projects.
Having fun while utilising your skills, you’ll also build a portfolio and benefit from an incoming stream of extra cash.
What skills work best for freelancing?
Luckily, freelancing isn’t limited to just one or two types of work.
Even if you don’t think you have skills to sell, review the list below to generate some ideas. You might be surprised by the type of freelance work you can do.
Companies look to freelancers for:
- Writing and editing blog posts and articles
- Graphic design and photo editing
- Marketing and social media
- Web programming and design
- Data entry and transcription
- Administrative support
- Video creation and editing
- IT, networking, and database management
- And much more
Some freelancers find themselves quite successful doing work online, and end up turning their side hustle into a full-time career.
2. Take online surveys
Do you enjoy surfing the web and answering questions? Completing online surveys might be the perfect way for you to earn some extra side cash. From product reviews to lifestyle habits, companies want honest opinions—and are willing to pay for them. It gives them insight into customers’ minds and offers them valuable consumer data.
The best part about taking online surveys is that they can be squeezed into your downtime, whether that’s over your lunch break or while watching TV. You don’t need hours upon hours to focus on something: you can fill out as many or as few as you want.
In addition to cash, some surveys offer rewards like gift cards, prizes, and free products. You can sign up to take surveys for free using several online survey companies. If a survey website is asking you to pay, it is probably a scam.
3. Become an online tutor
Have a skill that others might want to learn? Consider becoming an online tutor.
The internet is home to a wide range of tutoring options, where you can teach someone who lives across the world, all from the comfort of your own home.
Once you’ve built a free online tutor profile, eager students can connect with you over the web. Lessons are often conducted through a program like Skype or FaceTime, and hourly rates generally hover between $12-$35 an hour—though sometimes even higher.
You can set your available days and times so it works seamlessly with your busy lifestyle. Online tutoring is a convenient way to make a side income, and allows you to build relationships through one-on-one sessions.
No matter your background, you probably have a skill you can teach others, such as:
- The English language
- A foreign language
- A musical instrument
- School subjects like math, science, or economics
- Test preparation
- Any other specialty skill, from writing, to photography, to crotchet knitting.
4. Build an online course
If one-on-one tutoring sessions aren’t quite your thing, consider building an online course to teach that special skill you have. Once you create a course, people can sign-up to take it at any time—all without needing to be available to meet with them.
This is one type of passive income, meaning you generate revenue without having to work for each dollar. The money flows in and minimal work is required to maintain it.
Websites like Udemy allow you to build a course in any area you want, whether it’s teaching concepts of a foreign language, how to paint a room, or prepare for a job interview.
To be successful in this arena, you’ll want to take time to build a quality course that will provide genuine benefit to enrollees. The more detail you provide on your subject matter, the better.
Online courses are offered from 30 minutes all the way up to several hours. The average income for those on Udemy ranges from $6,000-$7,000 though it can be higher. To increase your earnings, promote your course on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
5. Sell your photos online
If you have a bundle of photos sitting on your harddrive that are of decent quality, consider selling them on sites like iStockPhoto and Shutterstock. These websites are always looking for additional photos to sell to companies, ranging from nature snapshots to people to everyday items.
Building your photo account is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. You’ll upload your best photos and start building your inventory right away. The most successful stock photographers continue to upload photos every month, and aim to offer the types of photos that people and companies are looking for.
The more creative you are and the more variety you can upload online, the better chances you have of making some serious money. Even if you feel your photos aren’t worthy, consider uploading them anyway. Many companies and websites are often in search of the simplest photos, like those of a child playing in the park or of a household good.
Once you have a nice cache of photos online, you generate a small commission every time a photo is downloaded. In this sense, the work is done upfront—but once you have a foundation, the money starts coming in without the need for much additional manpower.
6. Offer virtual assistant services
Helping someone check things off of their “to-do” list can be both fun and lucrative. When you become a virtual assistant, you might check emails, make travel plans, or conduct online research. Virtual assistants are hired by both individuals and companies.
So, what skills are needed?
Most tasks don’t require a specific skill set. Being organised and having solid computer and internet skills will make the work much easier. You may interact with some basic software programs, like Microsoft Excel or Word.
You might also need to navigate websites and sort through pertinent information. Communicating and meeting deadlines are huge components of success for virtual assistants.
7. Sell your unwanted belongings
For quick cash you can rely on, sell the things you no longer need or want. Many online platforms make it easy to sell your books, accessories, games, movies, and even clothing. Use sites like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook to clean out your closets and secure some extra cash.
If you don’t have many things to get rid off, consider selling homemade products and creations on a site like Etsy.
What makes online selling easier?
First, you’ll want to make sure you have a PayPal account. Many online businesses and sites make payments and earnings easy through PayPal.
Next, you’ll want to ensure you have high-quality photos of your items, especially if it’s a piece of furniture or clothing.
Third, be sure you are honest in your listings, so people know exactly what they’re getting and the current quality of the good. Respond to your customers in a timely fashion and always ship products as soon as you can.
8. Upload videos on YouTube
Have a witty sense of humour or ability to teach things in a hands-on fashion?
Whether you love sharing your opinions on current affairs or know how to apply the perfect ‘going out’ makeup, you can create videos that show your true personality. People are big fans of entertaining and informative videos—and if you get a solid following, you can generate income from online ads.
If you don’t have professional video equipment, don’t worry. Many famous YouTubers record their content on pre-installed computer cameras and smartphones.
But where does the money come in? Well, YouTube offers the option to place ads before your videos, so you generate income for the views you receive. A percentage of the ad revenue comes to you for every 1,000 views. While this may seem like a lot, many people reach and exceed that with only a few videos.
To be successful, ensure your content is especially engaging and original, so people watch your videos and are encouraged to share them with others. Although it may take a little time to build a steady flow of passive income through this method, it can be done with quality content that keeps people coming back for more.
Because the rise of YouTube isn’t stopping anytime soon, consider creating a free YouTube account today to start building your channel.
9. Self-publish a digital book
The Amazon Kindle store allows anyone to write a book and self-publish it through their Kindle Direct Publishing platform. You earn 70% of the sales, and can price your book at the rate you want.
For a successful eBook, you’ll need to provide significant value for readers. This is normally done through writing a nonfiction or how-to book. For example, if you want to write about installing house plumbing or how to de-stress at the end of a long day, make sure your book covers all of the angles and gives people a valuable takeaway.
If you’re not sure what to write about, think of common problems that everyday people face. Write your book as a solution to this problem—and make it as entertaining as possible.
Once your book is on the market, you’ll want to make sure it receives a handful of quality reviews. This will impact how well your book shows up in search engines and how many people are likely to click the ‘Buy Now’ button. Though drafting a book does take time, it pays off through more and more purchases. Look for an online tutorial in writing eBooks and get started today!
10. Test websites
You won’t need any previous experience for this money maker! Testing websites and offering your feedback is as simple as 1-2-3.
UserTesting.com is a platform that pays you to review and test websites. Paying $10 for each review through PayPal, you can create extra weekend cash in a matter of hours. Tests generally only take 15 to 20 minutes.
The sign-up for UserTesting.com is free and the number of websites you can review is unlimited. You’ll only need a Mac or Windows based computer and a built-in voice recorder to complete the reviews, which usually entails having your voice recorded as you navigate a website.
So rather than sitting there browsing the web, make a little extra cash instead!
No matter your need or situation, use these 10 ways to make money online and help say ‘goodbye’ to stress.
If you’re looking for some cash to hold you over until then, apply for a secured personal loan, which can have money in your bank account within 24 hours.