From online surveys to envelope stuffing, there are lots of popular get-rich-quick money-making ideas. But do these methods really work? Usually, they don’t. You might earn a little bit, but the real issue with these gigs is their lack of stability and potential for long-term success.

Fortunately, there are legitimate ways to make money online. Unlike quick-fix schemes that promise much but deliver little, these reliable methods can lead to sustainable earnings and even career growth. And the best part? You only need a laptop and a stable internet connection to pursue them.

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How to make money online: 35 real ways

1. Start a dropshipping business

Dropshipping is a business model where you sell a product to a customer, but the supplier handles the storage, packaging, and shipping on your behalf. You can dropship through your own ecommerce store—just install a dropshipping app and you’ll gain access to dozens of suppliers across various product categories.

Ready to start a dropshipping business? Shopify is the platform most online entrepreneurs use to sell products without inventory. With Shopify dropshipping apps, you can source a variety of products and have them shipped to your customers.

→ Click Here to Launch Your Online Business with Shopify

2. Try print on demand

Print on demand (POD) is another popular way to earn money online. Many entrepreneurs are drawn to it because it allows for low initial investment and easy setup. You create designs for products such as t-shirts, mugs, and tote bags, and then a POD service prints and ships the items directly to your customers.

How does it differ from dropshipping? First, you can make your own custom products, which is great for brand recognition. Second, you can choose from specific items rather than a vast range of categories. Most print-on-demand companies offer products that are easy to print on, like t-shirts, mugs, and tote bags.

make money with print on demand

3. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online. Throughout the years, its popularity has gone up and down, but it continues to be an effective way to earn passive income. The best part about affiliate marketing is that you choose from a vast range of companies to partner with, including Shopify, Amazon, and Uber.

This business model allows you to earn a living by promoting other brands. Once you’ve signed up for an affiliate marketing program, you’ll start earning commissions from sales of retail products, software, apps, and more. While the commission may seem small, keep in mind that you can be an affiliate for several brands and promote a variety of products across different platforms.

4. Start a YouTube channel

If others are profiting from YouTube, you can too. Your YouTube channel should focus on a single niche so you can build a strong, loyal audience. For example, you can create makeup tutorials, stream video games, review products, teach skills, create prank videos, or do anything else you think there’s an audience for.

The key to earning money on YouTube is creating content people want to watch. Enticing headlines and keyword-optimized descriptions can draw viewers to your videos. Once you hit the 1,000-subscriber mark, you become eligible to earn advertising revenue through running ads on your content.

make money with youtube

5. Become an influencer

Building a personal brand can also help you make money online. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo charges more than $2 million for a sponsored Instagram post, for example. While it may seem like reality stars, singers, and athletes are the biggest influencers, keep in mind that even smaller-scale influencers can make more money today than they did a few years back.

To become an influencer, you need to build a healthy following. The best platforms to get started on? Instagram and TikTok. Some of the biggest non-celebrity influencers often gained their first taste of exposure on these platforms. You might want to check out how to get more Instagram followers if you want to build a big audience on the platform.

6. Create an online course

Selling courses ranks as one of the top strategies for earning money online. If you’re an expert in a particular subject, you can capitalize on your knowledge by creating online courses. You can sell these courses on online platforms like Udemy or through your own website if you have a dedicated audience. Some entrepreneurs earn as much as $5,000 per month from their online courses.

The platform you choose to sell your course on will shape your online money-making strategy. Selling on Udemy means you won’t have to focus much on promotion—it practically takes care of itself. You may want to enhance its visibility through blogs or social media networks. On the other hand, if your course is on your own website, consider using ads for promotion.

7. Publish an ebook

With Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, it’s never been easier to publish an ebook. All you need to do is write the ebook, format it, create an ebook cover, publish it, and promote it. You can choose to hire a writer for your ebook, a graphic designer to design the cover, and a manuscript editor to eliminate errors from the content.

When researching the topic, focus on keywords based on popular searches on Amazon. The Keyword Tool is a great choice for finding the words people use while searching, so you can craft your title around them.

make money online blogging

8. Start a blog

Blogging is one of the oldest methods for making money online. People who love writing tend to start blogs with a niche focus. For example, a blog about procrastination, cars, dropshipping, toys, etc., is often a narrow enough focus to build a loyal following and big enough that you can cover a lot of ground. For those looking to make money online fast, this method can be a rewarding venture.

You can start a blog on various platforms, such as Shopify (remove the checkout feature so you don’t have to pay a subscription as you build it out) or WordPress. When you start your blog, focus on very specific keywords with a tight focus and continue to expand into additional but still relevant categories as you grow and dominate new spaces.

9. Consider freelancing

The easiest way to make money online is to take your current 9-to-5 job and do it online instead. For example, if you’re a writer, data entry specialist, graphic designer, teacher, or developer, you can market these skills and find clients online who are willing to pay you to apply them.

There’s a never-ending list of job platforms for each type of freelancer too. For example, freelance writers can apply for jobs on specific online writing job boards, but also on general freelance websites like Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, and all the others. Remember, freelancing is a numbers game: the more applications you fill out and submit, the more likely you’ll be to get a response back.

10. Create an app

If you’re not a developer, you’re probably looking at this money-making idea and feeling a bit stuck. Fortunately, you can hire someone with programming skills to build an app for you. Sites like Toptal will connect you with plenty of app developers who are open to working with entrepreneurs to turn their vision into reality.

All you have to do is come up with a unique app idea, identify the audience you want to target, and create a brand image for your product. The programmer you hire will take care of things on the development front.

make money with apps

11. Become a writer

With a growing interest in content marketing, more and more companies are looking for writers who can fill their web properties with great content. The secret to succeeding as a writer is to focus on a specific niche. Many writers try to be generalists, covering everything from food to tech. However, a niche focus sets you apart.

What about AI replacing human writers? While AI can generate content, it lacks the human touch. As a writer, your experience in a niche adds value. You can offer thoughts, experiences, and insider perspectives. That’s what brands want. That’s what they pay for.

Sites for finding freelance writing jobs include:

12. Do side gigs

Side gigs can help you make money online while you keep your full-time job. If you’re looking to make an extra couple of hundred dollars per month, this is a great idea. The work doesn’t always last long term, but it can.

Use platforms like Fiverr to find part-time gigs you can do online. As a new entrant in the gig economy, you’ll want to focus on offering a low price so you can get your first review. Ask a friend to buy your gig and leave your first review so you can get started faster. Treat the friend like a client and actually deliver a finished product that you can feature in your portfolio. 

earn money with Fiverr

13. Do translation work

Translation is a fairly underserved niche, meaning there’s less competition in this field than in other niche markets. To capitalize on the opportunity, you need to be fluent in at least two languages. If you’re bilingual or majored in a popular language in school, this may be a great money-making idea for you to try out.

You will need to show proof of your ability to translate without using machine translation tools. If you have a language degree or experience translating text, make sure to highlight that in your portfolio or résumé. Most companies will require a translation test, and you can’t use translation tools at any time to help you pass the test.

Sites where you can find translation jobs to make money online include:

14. Sell your stuff

Do you have a closet full of items you no longer use? Consider turning that clutter into cash by selling your unwanted goods online. You can list your items on online marketplaces like eBay or Etsy, or even set up your own online store for direct selling.

To maximize your sales, focus on high-demand items such as electronics, furniture, toys, and handcrafted goods. Plus, take clear, bright photos of your products—strong visuals help to attract customers and speed up sales.

15. Become an online tutor

If you’re looking to earn money on your own schedule, consider becoming an online tutor. Companies that hire tutors often provide the flexibility to set your own hours, allowing you to work when it’s convenient for you.

You’ll need a strong understanding of the subject you plan to tutor, as well as effective communication skills to explain concepts clearly to students. Additionally, having a teaching degree or relevant experience in the field can increase your chances of landing a tutoring position.

You can find online tutoring jobs on platforms such as:

earn money tutoring

16. Drive your car

If you own a car, you can make some spare cash as an Uber driver or delivery person. Even without a car, you can deliver food and other essentials using a bicycle or moped. Uber drivers looking to make even more money can turn their vehicle into a moving billboard with Free Car Media, which wraps your car in a removable vinyl advert.

Interested in making money fast with Uber? If you legally run a side business, you could showcase your products to passengers—though not all will be interested. With prior consent, passengers may sift through products you have for sale under the driver’s seat. If they wish to buy but don’t have cash, you can utilize Uber’s tip function for payment. Always ensure that this approach complies with local laws and regulations.

17. Become a virtual assistant

As entrepreneurs build more businesses, the demand for virtual assistants grows. A virtual assistant is a self-employed individual providing various services remotely, such as writing, bookkeeping, social media management, and customer support.

Find virtual assistant gigs on sites like Virtual Assistant Jobs, Indeed, or Upwork. Many have also succeeded by directly reaching out to brands and entrepreneurs. Combining job postings and proactive outreach could land your first client sooner than expected.

18. Become a Twitch streamer

While Twitch started as a gaming platform, it’s quickly evolving to include other types of content. Nowadays, Twitch streaming is an increasingly popular way to make money online.

You’ll need to find a popular game or channel that isn’t overly competitive so people can easily find your content. In order to get people to notice your streams, you’ll need to have a consistent style for your channel: Is it going to be funny, educational, or entertaining? Choose your path and stick to it.

There are five ways to monetize your Twitch channel:

  1. Sell products
  2. Offer brand sponsorships
  3. Accept fan donations
  4. Offer subscriptions
  5. Run Twitch ads

how to make money with photography

19. Invest in stocks

Investing in stocks can be a way to make money quickly, but it’s not without risk, especially if you’re inexperienced. While the rewards can be high, you might also face losses.

If you have a 9-to-5 job, consider exploring your company’s financial programs. Does it allow investment in company stocks? If so, this could be an option. With company stock programs, your role as an employee may influence the organization’s success. Additionally, if your company offers an RRSP matching program, consider this as a way to save for retirement or a down payment on a home.

20. Sell photography

Whether you’re a professional photographer or just love snapping great pictures, you can make money online by selling your images. Sites like Shutterstock and Alamy are great places to showcase your work. These websites pay royalties to photographers when someone downloads a copy of their image.

If you’re looking to monetize your photography quickly, you can create a listing on Foap, a smartphone app that lets you upload your works and earn cash. When an agency, brand, or anyone else buys a photo or video from your digital Foap portfolio, the app creator shares the profit with you 50-50. 

21. Sell clothes online

Have clothes you don’t wear anymore? Rather than letting them sit in your closet, sell them online. There are quite a few websites that let you sell apparel for cash, such as Poshmark, Refashioner, and ThredUp.

You can also explore Facebook buy and sell groups in your community to find people online and sell the items in person. Just be careful of scams and follow the recommended safety precautions.

22. Become an extreme couponer

If you’re looking to save and make a bit of money, couponing can be a viable option. Coupon Chief’s Pays-2-Share program, for example, lets you share coupons and earn a 2% to 3% commission on sales. The key is to share coupons that haven’t been used before.

This method resembles affiliate marketing, where you earn commissions through referral links. Many coupon companies pay their affiliates consistently, making this a legitimate way to earn online. For instance, Coupon Chief has paid more than $1.3 million in commissions to date.

23. Buy and sell domain names

If you regularly buy domain names but fail to use them, you can always try to sell them for a profit. Selling domains is ultra-competitive, though. If you own a one-word .com domain, you’ll have a better chance of selling. Words that have a high search volume sell well too. You can search for domain names and buy a custom domain through the Shopify domain registration platform.

Once you purchase a domain, list it for sale on GoDaddy’s Domain Auction. You can look through the domains with the highest bids to see what type of domains sell well. This research will help you evaluate the potential sale value of your domains and estimate how much profit you could make by selling them.

24. Sell your designs online

Graphic design is an amazing skill that you can monetize in several ways. You can go the print-on-demand route and sell your designs on your own custom products. Alternatively, you can pitch your designs on a crowdsource platform like 99designs.

money making ideas

There’s also the option to create your own graphics and templates to sell on marketplaces like Envato or Creative Market. Or how about picking up some clients and working as a freelance graphic designer? According to PayScale, this role will net you $29.90 per hour, on average.

25. Test websites

If you’re passionate about user experience, UserTesting pays reviewers $10 to give other entrepreneurs feedback on their websites and apps. You’ll be given a set of questions to answer as you browse through a site. That’s one fast way to make money online. 

You’ll communicate your ideas and feedback to the entrepreneur through a video while navigating their website or app. Your video is only 20 minutes long, so if you do three videos per hour, you’ll make $30. Other reviewers can take projects quickly, so you have to act fast when a new website or app needs to be reviewed.

26. Create and publish newsletters

Creating and publishing email newsletters is one of the most profitable online business ideas. Here’s why: People crave personalized content they can read at their leisure, and newsletters hit the spot. 

Starting is simpler than you think. First, identify your niche—what you’re passionate about and what can benefit your readers. Then, choose a reliable email hosting service that offers customizable templates, robust security, and tools for building a strong subscriber relationship.

27. Get a part-time job

When you’ve done whatever it takes to make money fast but struggle to make an impact, sometimes you’re left with no choice but to get a part-time job. You can browse part-time jobs on Indeed or a niche job board that caters to your field. 

Some job websites require an upfront fee to register, so read the fine print carefully. Most sites let you filter for part-time and contract-based jobs, so you should have no problem finding relevant positions to apply for. With many companies hiring part time, it’s easier than ever to make extra money without working a full week.

28. Become a TikTok consultant

One of the trendiest ways to make money online is to become a TikTok consultant. Brands will contact you for brainstorming video ideas, developing engaging bios, and more. It’s the perfect money-making opportunity for digital nomads—you can run the entire business from your smartphone.

However, you need to have a few talents before you begin offering TikTok consultancy to businesses. The most important is knowing how to create viral videos that get people to engage with brands. If you don’t have the expertise to drive sales through this platform, you can still learn how to attract customers by taking this TikTok course.

29. Sell greeting cards online

If you have a knack for picking out the perfect greeting card for different occasions, this might be an easy way to make money online. However, it’s not recommended that you market your services to everyone and anyone—it’s not a smart way to do business. Instead, design or source greeting cards that appeal to a certain segment of the population. 

For example, you can make greeting cards that cater to C-level executives wanting to thank their senior vice presidents for making profitable decisions last year. Or you can target health care professionals who want to thank their patients for choosing their clinic. For designing the cards, you can use an online graphic tool like Photoshop or Canva.

30. Offer virtual local tours

Do you know your town or city well? Share it with people by offering virtual tours. This can be a way for tourists and others to explore new places without leaving home.

You can use video calls to show historical sites, cultural spots, and local favorites. Share local stories and facts. Allow people to ask questions and see things up close. Offer different tours, like ones for food lovers or history buffs. Work with local shops so tour guests can buy local products.

31. Become a reseller

Reselling products is a way to make money without creating items. You can buy vintage or collectible items and then sell them. If you want to focus on specific products, you can become a certified distributor of a brand in your area.

Start by finding brands to resell on wholesale directories and platforms like AliExpress. Then, set up an online platform to sell your chosen products. Remember, you will need to manage inventory. This takes effort, but it doesn’t require making products.

32. Sell advertising space

If you own a website, you can make money by selling ad space on it. The more people click or look at these ads, the more cash you make. Make sure your website is a place where advertisers want to be. This means good content that shows up in search results. Also, check where ads work best on your site to keep your readers happy.

You could start with a network like Google’s to get ads up and running fast. If you’re using a site builder like WordPress, there are easy guides to follow. Or, explore other ad networks that offer different kinds of ads and special features to boost your earnings and reach more people worldwide.

33. Narrate audiobooks

Do you have a great speaking voice? Consider using it to make money online by narrating audiobooks. Being organized, professional, and punctual are key to building a reputable profile in the industry. You can find opportunities on platforms such as Bunny Studio, Voices, or ACX.

Enhance your visibility by creating a personal website where you can upload samples of your narration. You can also network by joining audiobook narration groups on social media and attending industry events. This will help you connect with authors and publishers looking for narrators.

34. Become an Airbnb host

If you’ve got a spare bedroom or a quaint guest house sitting empty, consider turning it into a source of income by hosting on Airbnb. It’s an effective way to use your property to cover your mortgage or save for future goals. You can even increase your earnings by selling items directly to guests, such as handmade décor or local products.

To get started, sign up for a free Airbnb account and set up your listing with attractive descriptions and photos. To add a personal touch, use QR codes in your space that guests can scan to purchase featured items

35. Do micro jobs

Looking to earn extra money? Consider micro jobs—small online tasks like transcribing audio or organizing data. Websites like TaskRabbit for various odd jobs, Upwork for freelance work, and PeoplePerHour for creative and technical tasks offer plenty of opportunities.

Just ensure you have a stable internet connection and a functional computer. For design or tech roles, showcasing your previous work could help you secure the job.

Start your online earning journey today

Making money online can help you stay afloat during these troubled times, but it can also help you escape your 9-to-5 job so you can become a full-time entrepreneur. By brainstorming online business ideas and choosing to start an online business, you gain more financial freedom, improve your financial security, and inch closer to living life on your terms.

It really is possible to earn a living online if you work hard and stick with it. So, which money-making idea will you pursue first?

Make money online FAQ

How can I make money online fast?

  1. Build a Shopify store and dropship products online.
  2. Sell used stuff on eBay, Amazon, or Facebook Marketplace.
  3. Find and share coupons on websites like Coupon Chief.
  4. Buy and sell domain names.
  5. Rent your spare room on Airbnb.
  6. Provide TikTok consultancy to startups and businesses.
  7. Sell information products.
  8. Tutor people online in high-demand subjects.
  9. Create online courses.
  10. Review apps and websites.

How can I make $100 a day on the web?

  1. Complete surveys.
  2. Sell products on Amazon.
  3. Teach English online.
  4. Watch videos for money.
  5. Get cash back on your shopping.
  6. Proofread for websites.
  7. Review music online.

How can I make money online in 2024?

  1. Launch a print-on-demand store.
  2. Sell your clothes online.
  3. Create handmade goods.
  4. Offer freelance services.
  5. Curate subscription boxes.
  6. Build online courses.
  7. Launch a podcast.
  8. Create digital products.
  9. Become an influencer.
  10. Start a blog. 

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