7 Best Ways You Can Make Money Online

Want to make some extra money on the side or dream of working for yourself? Making money online is one of the best ways to achieve it. Unfortunately, the internet is full of get-rich-quick schemes, outdated information that no longer works, and bad advice.

The good news is it’s certainly possible to make money online. In this article I’ll share some of the best, proven ways to do it. Unless I am 100% sure it’s a good, legitimate way to make money I won’t mention it. That’s way you won’t see anything about filling our surveys 😉

Why Make Money Online?

There are so many different ways to make money. Why online? It’s a fair question.

There are many websites that recommend things like walking your neighbors dogs, selling your old clothes, babysitting your little niece, etc.

Sure, these things can help to bring in a couple of extra bucks. But, xUSD is a personal finance website and I feel you deserve a lot more than just old regurgitated suggestions.

make money online

Advantages of Earning Money Online

Here are some of the main advantages of making money online:

1. Work from the comfort of your own home.

Few things beat working from the comfort of your own home. Just the simple fact that you don’t need to commute and stress about traffic already makes working from home attractive. And, then we’ve not ever considered how much time and money it can save you.  

2. Can be done part-time or full-time.

Most people start part-time. For some it’s a way to make some extra money on the side. For others it’s the dream of one day being able to quite their full-time job and have their own business.

3. Set your own working hours.

One of the big perks of working online is that you can normally set your own working hours. And, you can work for as many hours as you choose.

4. Can provide you with a nice passive income.

There are many ways you can earn a nice passive income online. This means making money even while you’re sleeping or on holiday!

"If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die."

5. Be your own boss.

Having the freedom to work for yourself on your own terms is a great feeling! Nothing is more valuable than your time. Sacrificing your time for a paycheck to make someone else rich is a waste of your potential.

6. Do what makes you feel happy and fulfilled.

A huge advantage of working online is that you have so many options on what to do. You can literally take your time and pick something that you will really enjoy doing. Find something that gives you purpose and is a good fit for your personality.

7. Take your existing business online.

Take your business online

Many small business owners are missing out on a ton of customers by not having an online presence. And, by online presence I’m not talking about having a simple website or Facebook page. I’m talking about generating business leads and earning money.

Ways to Make Money Online

Here are 7 of the best ways you can make money online.

1. Freelance Writing Jobs

Rating
3/5

Becoming a freelance writer is a great way to make some extra cash on the side. According to Statista there will be about 31.7 million bloggers in the U.S. in 2020. Bloggers need content for their blogs or websites and many of them outsource content creation to freelancers.

Good freelance writers are in high demand and can easily make $0.10 per word. That’s $50 for a short 500-words article. However, the rate on most freelance sites varies between $0.01 and $0.05 a word.

Many freelancers do freelance writing as a full-time job. If a client is happy with the quality of your work there’s a strong chance they’ll hire you again.

Best Freelancer Sites

The most popular and trusted sites for freelance writing jobs are:

 Fiverr

Fiverr is a massive platform that offers many opportunities for freelance writers. These include articles & blog posts, resume writing, proofreading & editing, technical writing, press releases, sales copy, and website content.

Upwork

Upwork is highly respected by most freelance writers. Options include academic writing, article & blog writing, copywriting, creative writing, editing & proofreading, resumes and cover letters, and technical writing.

Freelancer

Freelancer is a very popular platform. Some of their writing categories include eBooks, article writing, ghostwriting, research writing, content writing, business writing, and copy typing.

Pros

  • Can be done part-time or full-time.
  • Set your own working hours and choose how many hours per day you would like to work.
  • Can make a decent living as a freelancer.
  • The possibility of finding long-term clients that will require your services on a regular basis.
  • Normally safe & secure as all good freelancer sites use an escrow service.

Cons

  • Not always easy to get your first client(s).
  • It can take time to establish your reputation / credibility and increase your rates.
  • Some clients can be very difficult or unreasonable and will leave you negative feedback.
  • Not everybody has the ability and language skills to write good quality content.
  • No passive income. If you’re ill and can’t work your income dries up straight away.
  • Freelance sites claim about 20% of your income for allowing you to use their platform.

Conclusion

Freelance writing is a legitimate way of earning money online. Once you’ve established yourself as a reputable writer you may find you’ve got more work than you can handle. This is often the case if you’ve built up a decent client base.

Why does freelance writing get a 3-star rating?

 I feel if you’re a good writer you can make more money online writing for yourself than for others. However, if you need money urgently and can’t wait for your own online business to take off, it’s a great option.

I would still advise that you don’t only write for clients but create content for your own needs as well.

Note: Writing is not the only way you can make money as a freelancer. There are many other ways as well, such as graphic design, programming, and digital marketing to name just a few. I’ve selected writing as there is a strong demand for it and it doesn’t require any specialized knowledge or training.

2. Online Courses

Rating
4/5

Creating your own online course can be a great way to earn passive income. It does require a fair amount of work upfront but the results can be very satisfying.

According to Teachable:

* Their average instructor earns $5,426 with each online course.

* It takes 47 days on average for a course creator to go from first step to first sale.

Skillshare reports their top teachers make over $100,000 a year. 

This makes creating online courses one of the best ways to make money online.

If you’ve never created an online course before it may seem like a daunting task. However, it’s not that difficult once you get started. Like so many things in life, it becomes easier once you know how to do it.

Online Course Options

There are mainly two available options to choose from if you want to create an online course, namely:

1. Online Course Platforms

An online course platform gives you a lot of options when you create a course. You have total control over how much you want to charge for the course. You can customize the page your course is listed on, and you’re not competing for attention with other courses.

The trade-off is you have to pay a fixed monthly fee to the platform and you have to promote your own course. The platform isn’t going to do it for it.

The best online course platforms are:

* Teachable

* Thinkific

* LearnWorlds

* Podia

2. Online Course Marketplaces

An online course marketplace allows you to list and sell your courses on their platform.

As a course creator you won’t be charged to list your course, and the marketplace will even promote your course. However, there are many restrictions on what you can or can’t do. And, your course will be competing against many other courses.

The best online course marketplaces are:

* Udemy

Udemy courses must have at least 30 minutes of video content and contain at least 5 lectures or modules. They follow a revenue-share model and will pay you 97% of the sales amount for sales you referred. For sales you didn’t refer, you’ll earn 50% of the sales amount.  

* Skillshare

Skillshare follows a subscription model. You get $10 for every student you refer to them that signs up for a Premium Membership. And, you earn royalties based on the number of minutes your lessons are watched every month.

One last option worth mentioning is LearnDash. It’s neither a platform nor a marketplace but a very good WordPress plugin.

LearnDash is worth investigating if you want to host your own course on your website. It’s not a free plugin and may not be as easy to use as an online course platform. However, it’s a cost effective alternative to using an online course platform.

Pros

  • Can lead to a very nice monthly passive income.
  • Very high profit margin as it’s a digital product.
  • Can be done part-time or full-time.
  • Set your own working hours and choose how many hours per day you would like to work.
  • Most platforms and marketplaces provide course creators with a lot of tools to help them.

Cons

  • Monthly fees charged by platforms can be expensive if you don’t do enough to promote your course.
  • Difficult to stand out from the crowd if you’re using a online course marketplace.
  • Can be a steep learning curve if you’ve never created a course before.
  • A lot of time and hard work may be required depending on the topic and length of your course.

Conclusion

Creating online courses is one of the best ways to make money online. It can provide you with a good passive income. Imagine if you can make $5000 from one course. How many courses would you create?

Obviously, there’s no guarantee of how much money you can make by creating online courses. If you treat it as a part-time hobby don’t expect to make a lot of money from it. However, if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort I don’t see any reason why you can’t do well.

Why does creating your own online course get a 4-star rating?

In order to earn a good income from creating online courses you should be willing to promote your courses. You can’t simply complete a course and expect to receive a nice income from it indefinitely.

In order to get the most out of your online courses you can’t treat it as a standalone business.

Consider adding online courses as an additional income stream for your blog. If your blog is already getting a fair amount of traffic, online courses would be a perfect fit. So, as a way of monetizing your blog I would give online courses a 5-star rating.

If you don’t have a successful blog at the moment, don’t worry. You can still go ahead and create online courses. We’ll look at blogging a little bit later in this article. For now, just remember that one of the best ways you can promote your online course is through a blog.

3. Affiliate Marketing

Rating
4.5/5

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways you can make money online.

Make money online with affiliate marketing

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is an agreement between you and a merchant or affiliate network. Under the agreement you’re paid a commission for sales referred to them through your unique affiliate link.

Affiliate programs are normally listed on affiliate networks or on the website of merchants. Some are quick and easy to join while others require you to go through an approval process.

Some of the biggest affiliate networks, platforms or marketplaces are:

* Amazon Associates Program

* ClickBank

* CJ Affiliate

* ShareASale

Pros

  • Choose between millions of products to promote.
  • Don’t need to pay to join an affiliate program.
  • No need to create your own products.
  • Easy to replace poor performing programs with better ones.
  • A great way to earn passive income.
  • Can be done part-time or full-time.
  • Set your own working hours.

Cons

  • It can take time to generate enough free organic traffic to your offers.
  • Paid advertising methods can be risky and too expensive to use.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is in my opinion probably the best way to make money online. Affiliate commissions of 10% on physical products and up to 75% on digital products are not unusual. 

The fact you don’t have to invest your time and money to create your own product is a huge benefit. Unless you use paid traffic to promote affiliate offers, which I don’t recommend, you have very little risk.

Why does affiliate marketing get a 4.5-star rating?

You don’t always need a website or blog before you can become an affiliate marketer.

However, to get the most out of affiliate marketing you should have a blog with high quality content. And, your blog should be search engine optimized so you can get free organic traffic from Google.

If you’re serious about making money online and prepared to work on your blog then affiliate marketing gets a 5-star rating.

4. Print on Demand

Rating
3.5/5

Print on demand has become very popular in recent years as a way to make money online.

In case you’re wondering, no you don’t need to be a designer to make money from print on demand. It’s easy to do text yourself. If you want a design there are many freelance sites such as Fiverr where you can outsource the design.

Print on Demand

Print on Demand Products

Many people automatically associate print on demand with t-shirts or mugs. Although t-shirts sell very well there are many other print on demand products, including:

Long sleeves, hoodies, shoes, sportswear, sweatshirts, tank tops, socks, hats, skirts & dresses, and swimwear. There are even print on demand products for infants, such as bodysuits, and bibs.

Other popular print on demand products include shower curtains, bath mats, towels, pillows & cases, bags, stationery, and phone cases.

How Does Print on Demand Work?

The typical business model is pretty straightforward and looks like this:

Step 1. Decide on the text or type of design you want to use. If you can’t do it yourself, have it done on Fiverr for a couple of bucks. 

Step 2. You provide a supplier such as Printify with your design.

Step 3. You list the products on your ecommerce website. (Shopify is a popular option)

Step 4. You promote the designs on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Step 5. With every sale your supplier will print your design on the product you’re selling and ship it to your customer.

Selling products from your website is not the only available option. You can also look at listing it on eBay, Redbubble, Etsy, and Merch by Amazon.

Pros

  • You don’t have to carry inventory.
  • Only order & pay your supplier when a customer buys from you.
  • Can lead to a very nice passive income.
  • Can be done part-time or full-time.
  • Set your own working hours.
  • Very creative way to create your own fashion line.

Cons

  • Margins can be on the low side.
  • Fierce competition.

Conclusion

Print on Demand can work very well for you, especially if you’re creative by nature. There are many products such as t-shirts where a single t-shirt has made over $100,000 in sales. So, it can be a very lucrative way to make money online.

It’s a big advantage that you can start your line of products without having to invest one dollar in inventory. So, even if a particular product is not popular it won’t cost you money.  

Why does Print on Demand get a 3.5-star rating?

It’s a fiercely competitive market. Some people think it’s oversaturated but I don’t agree. There will always be a demand for t-shirts, mugs, shower curtains, stationery, etc.

However, you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition. You need to focus on very specific niche markets that still offer a lot of room for growth. If you can do this I don’t see why you can’t be highly successful selling print on demand products.

5. Online Coach

Rating
3/5

We all know coaching can be a lucrative profession. And, being an online coach can open up a whole new world of opportunities. As an online coach you can reach out and help clients from all over the world. All from the comfort of your own home.

Most online coaches offer two types of programs, namely:

* Group Coaching

* 1:1 Coaching – This is normally their flagship training offered at a premium price. 

Some popular niches include becoming an online nutritionist coach, online life coach, and online fitness coach. The sky is really the limit. Even if you think you don’t have the required skills or expertise, there are many programs you can enroll in.

A quick, easy, and cheap way to get started is to have a look at courses on Udemy. Here’s an example of what you’ll find if you search for “life coach certification.” 

Udemy courses for online life coach

Tools and Resources

There are many tools & resources designed to help and support online coaches.

These include:

* Satori

Used by thousands of coaches to automate their admin, give clients a good user experience, and grow their coaching practice.

* CoachAccountable

Their tagline is: “Deliver better programs. To more people. With less work.” They provide good structures that help your clients follow through and do the work. They also make it easy to schedule appointments, and receive payments.

* Nudge

A very good app for managing your clients, tracking their progress, and sending them messages.

* CoachVantage

Coaching software for solo coaches or coaching teams that helps you streamline your workflow.

* The Coaching Tools Company

They offer a huge selection of coaching tools and free resources for coaches.

* Zoom

A great resource for video conferencing, video webinars, and online meetings / training.

Pros

  • Can be done part-time or full-time.
  • Can schedule coaching sessions at times that are convenient for you.
  • Working online can be lonely. Life interaction with your clients can be very satisfying.
  • Can be very fulfilling helping others and knowing you’re making a difference.

Cons

  • No passive income. If you’re ill or on holiday you may not be able to support your clients.
  • Can be difficult to get your first client or build up a list of coaching clients.
  • Not everyone has the personality type to engage face-to-face with others online.

Conclusion

Being an online coach can be a very fulfilling and lucrative way to make money online.

Why does Online Coaching get a 3-star rating?

The main disadvantage with online coaching is that it doesn’t provide you with a passive income. You’re selling your time for money. When you’re not able to coach your clients your income dries up very quickly.

I recommend you use online coaching as a stepping stone to create your own online course. Doing online coaching before launching a digital course can help you fine tune and validate your niche and course idea. Under this scenario I would five online coaching a 5-star rating.

6. Start a Blog

Rating
5/5

Starting a blog is my opinion the best way you can make money online. It’s not uncommon for successful bloggers to make over $100,000 per month. Even if you can only earn a passive income of $5,000 per month it can still be life changing.

start a blog

How Do Blogs Make Money?

A blog does not make money by itself. You have to monetize it first. 

The following five steps will explain the best way you can make money blogging:

Step 1. Choose a large enough profitable niche with hungry buyers.

Step 2. Register a domain name, get website hosting, and install WordPress as your blogging platform.

Step 3. Publish high quality, comprehensive, and original content.

Step 4. Make sure your blog is search engine optimized so you can get lots of free organic traffic.

Step 5. Monetize your blog.

Pros

  • Can be done part-time or full-time.
  • Set your own working hours.
  • Many ways to monetize your blog.
  • Build an asset you can sell for up to 30 x monthly earnings.
  • Passive income.

Cons

  • Can take time to attract sufficient free organic traffic.
  • Can take a lot of time and hard work unless you outsource what you can.

Conclusion

Building a successful website or blog is a great way to make a good living from passive income. There are a huge number of niches you can choose from. It can be very satisfying blogging about a topic you’re passionate about or would like to learn more about. 

Why does starting a blog get a 5-star rating?

Having your own blog allows you to add some of the best ways to make money online under one roof. Several ways discussed in this article can be can be maximized if you use them to monetize your blog.

They are:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Online Coaching
  • Online Courses

In addition to the above, there are several other income streams you can add to your blog.

These include:

* Ads

Google ads or ads from other sponsors.

* Sponsored blog posts

Sponsored blog posts can be a profitable income stream. It’s also a good way to add fresh, quality content to your site.

* Your own membership site

Charging members a recurring monthly fee for premium content can be very lucrative.

* Digital downloads

 Selling digital downloads such as eBooks from your website can be very profitable.

* Offering consulting services

We’ve already covered online coaching. Consulting services can be similar but are normally geared towards businesses. And, as we know, businesses have larger budgets than individuals so it can be highly profitable.

It always a good idea to add a business component to your blog that would appeal to business owners. 

* Email marketing

 Building a large database of prospects you can contact at will can be a very valuable asset. Some of the most successful online entrepreneurs will tell you “the money is in the list.” 
 

7. Dropshipping

Rating
3.5/5

Having a dropshipping business can be very rewarding if it’s done right.

In order to succeed you need the following:

1. Find the right product – A quality, popular, in-demand product.

2. Buy at the right price – You make money when you buy, not when you sell. If you buy at the wrong price your margin won’t be big enough.

3. Source from the right supplier – You need a reliable, trustworthy supplier that’s easy to communicate with.

4. Put your product in front of the right customer – You have to focus on finding your ideal customer. Someone that’s looking to buy what you’re selling.

How does dropshipping work?

People visit your store, place an order, and your supplier ships the product directly to your customer. You don’t carry any inventory and you only specialize in a very specific niche.

Dropshipping Suppliers and Resources

There are millions of products you can choose from. Here are some suppliers and resources to get you started.

Chinabrands – Has warehouses all over the world, including the U.S. for fast shipping.

SaleHoo – A directory with 8,000+ pre-vetted suppliers.

Dropified – Easy integration with platforms like Shopify, and has a U.S. product database.

Spocket – Great dropshipping platform. 60% of suppliers and based in USA or Europe.

Doba – Gain access to hundreds of dropship suppliers and millions of products in one catalog.

Worldwide Brands – Dropship directory. Direct access to wholesalers. (Over 16 million products)

DHgate – Leading online wholesale platform for goods made in China.

Wholesale2b – Sync 1 million products to platforms like eBay, Shopify, and Amazon.

Pros

  • Can be done part-time or full-time.
  • Can lead to a nice passive income.
  • Choose from millions of products to sell.
  • Set your own working hours.

Cons

  • Can be difficult to get enough free organic traffic to your store.
  • Paid advertising can be expensive and isn’t always a viable option.
  • Margins can be on the low side if you buy through a 3rd party.
  • Better margins if you buy direct from China but long shipping time can cost you orders.

Conclusion

Dropshipping can provide you with a very nice monthly income. It’s a massive industry. It’s estimated there are over 500,000 Shopify stores alone. Most of them use the dropshipping model to sell products manufactured all over the world. 

Why does dropshipping get a 3.5-star rating?

The temptation of adding thousands of products to a store is just too big to resist for some dropshippers. Many make the mistake to using the shotgun approach. They fire off in all directions hoping to hit something. This is never a good approach.

Unless you’re prepared to spend a lot of money on paid advertising it takes hard work to optimize your store.

If you’re selling a popular product you have a lot of competition. Why should people buy from you? How are your customers even going to find your store?

The secret to success with dropshipping is to have a very targeted audience in a specific niche. Every product should be well optimized – unique description, features, and benefits. 

Instead of only having a standalone ecommerce shop, you can make your shop a part of your blog. For example, post helpful, original content on your blog that should lead to free organic traffic. If people really like your site they would normally love to see your store.

Dropshipping can be very lucrative if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort. If you’re willing to build an optimized, great looking store that your target audience will love then it’s worth it.

Summary

The above ways to make money online are, in my opinion, the best ways to make money online. There are many other ways I didn’t cover for the simple reason I don’t consider them be nearly as effective.

However, just remember success is never guaranteed. For example, there are many bloggers that make a good living from blogging, and there are many that make nothing. Making money online does require a firm commitment on your part. You have to put in the time and effort.

From a personal finance perspective, making money is only one part of the equation. You also have to budget, save, pay off debt, and invest to maintain a healthy balance.

Please let me know in the comments what you enjoyed the most about this article. Which of the 7 ways to make money online appeals to you the most?

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