For several years, I’ve wanted to find a way to make a living solely online.
I’m not saying that I’m there yet, because the truth is I have a long way to go when it comes to scratching things off my financial goals, but I’ve learned enough throughout the years to know that there are a lot of ways you can make money online.
And, with so much to choose from, I can understand if it gets overwhelming.
Let’s check out this list!
When you look up ways to make money online, a lot of ways to get income is through writing – and honestly, it’s not that surprising when you start reading this list.
You can write articles for your own niche-specific blog, write for other websites and/or companies, or even writing on different platforms.
Here’s the breakdown of each:
If you write for your own blog, you have a lot of options on how you can earn money.
- Write engaging content that converts into email subscribers, where you can then make money off of your email list by selling your own products, using affiliate links, or even sponsorships.
- Write interesting, informative content centered around a product, whether that is with affiliate links, your own product, or even physical products you sell from home or even through drop-shipping.
- Use free and paid traffic resources to get traffic to your blog, where it can have ads that can earn you money (if you have a lot of traffic).
- Have a membership website where people pay money per month/per year for exclusive deals, content, products, etc.
- Become an “influencer” where companies can pay you to write about their product.
But, let’s say you don’t have a blog. What other options do you have?
You can write for companies/others. In other words, “freelance writing”. Let’s look at some ways you can do this one:
- You can post your services on a platform such as Fiverr and get paid $x per 500-word article. These are especially in demand if you can write articles revolving around products, or even product descriptions that convert.
- Write on platforms such as Quora, JustAnswer, Reddit, Medium, Vocal.Media, and others. For some, like Medium and Vocal.Media, you can earn money if your post is popular. For others, you can earn money by either converting those readers into email subscribers or posting affiliate links (only if the platform allows it). With this method, chances are you will need an email marketing provider, which you can get for free.
- Enter writing contests (short stories, essays, articles, poetry) and possibly not only get recognition but also money.
- You can write ebooks and sell them on websites like Amazon Kindle, Blurb, Barnes, and Noble, Google Play Books, etc. You can write non-fiction books that solve a problem, or even fiction novels (or novellas).
- You can find work on websites like UpWork and get paid per article/project.
For the majority of these options, you’ll need a portfolio, which you may want to consider having your own website or using another (free) provider.
I already talked a bit about writing content around products, but let me get a bit more specific.
One of the most obvious things you can do is have your own website. You can either have a blog and write content revolving around products, or have an online store with product descriptions that convert and, hopefully, a mini-blog attached with blog posts that also convert.
But what if you don’t have a website?
- Use other platforms. Write answers/articles/copy that either make readers want to click your link and buy a product, or click a link and subscribe to your email list. The latter may be more work but converts better.
- Create free content or paid ads on websites like Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media sites. You can either link to a blog post (recommended), or directly to the landing page.
- Start a blog and earn money with…
- Affiliate marketing
- Ad space
- Selling own products (digital or physical)
- Freelance writing
- Write for magazines
- Write for other blogs
- Write for platforms such as Medium or Vocal.Media.
- Post services on Fiverr or other platforms
- Find jobs on UpWork or other platforms
- Social Media
- Write engaging content on social media and other platforms such as on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Quora, JustAnswer, Reddit, etc and use this to either build your email list or post affiliate links.
- Build an engaging facebook group and sell your own products or post affiliate links (not too much selling!)
- Become an influencer and get paid to review or sell products.
If you think about it, everything I listed above can either be easily applied to what I list below or may even feel like it’s basically the same thing.
There’s a reason for that.
The truth is, content is king. It works. And the whole “building trust” that everyone keeps yelling about? That’s serious business.
But it’s not as hard as you may think.
Truth is, I’ve been at this whole “online thing” a while now, and it pains me to say that it took me a long time to realize that everything I was doing was wrong.
I already knew that one of the main reasons I wasn’t making money on my little side-hustle was because I was inconsistent, unfocused, and not as motivated as I am now. But, it was also because I wasn’t taking the time to actually do what works – and that’s content and building trust.
And you know what? Building trust isn’t that hard.
Sure, some readers may be harder to gain their trust than others, but for the most part, it’s pretty darn simple:
- Write content that people actually like and solves a problem (even if that problem is they are bored and you are there to entertain them). Do NOT over-sell a product, if you have any affiliate links.
- Somewhere in your content, provide something both free and useful that your readers will want, such as a free mini-ebook, a guide, a checklist, or something else. Ask to provide their email addresses so you can send this free product.
- Now that the reader has become an email subscriber, make sure that they get their freebie IMMEDIATELY. And make it easy. Don’t make it difficult for them to find the freebie, and it’s important to make this something that feels like it was worth giving their email address out.
- In your autoresponder series, make sure to ALWAYS provide useful, engaging content that never over-sells – and make sure not to send emails too much or too little. Make sure that the subject is something that looks interesting, too. Try not to sell right away, but if you do put affiliate links in, make sure it’s pretty “casual” so it doesn’t look like you’re just trying to sell them things. Providing good, quality content will basically “train” your readers to open up your emails.
When you provide good, quality content, your readers began to trust you. It’s that simple.
But, how exactly can you sell?
Drop-shipping is by far one of the top methods used, usually because it seems extremely easy.
But, it also has less risk – and that’s important, too.
If you are a beginner interested in e-commerce, you can and should go into drop-shipping.
However, your method is what is going to make or break you.
If you search up “drop-shipping” in youtube, you’ll find a lot of youtubers talking about how to do this, and most of them will even tell you to source products from China from places like AliExpress and Alibaba.
Is that a bad idea?
Not really. In fact, you can find a lot of great, quality products from these websites.
But should you drop-ship from China? Now, that’s another story.
Let’s look at it from a customer’s point of view: Say that you found an ad, or even a blog post, youtuber, or even some social media influencer talking about this product and now you want it. You click the link, go to the online store, and buy the product.
Sometimes you’ll find this next thing before you hit “buy”, and other times after, but you may read something that goes like this:
Your product may take up to 5-10 days to be processed (note: processed does NOT mean it takes that long to SHIP).
Your product may take up to 30 days to be shipped to your address. Please be patient.
No matter how it’s written, it’s all the same when items are being drop-shipped from China.
It takes 2 weeks to a month, sometimes even longer, for you to get it.
Oh, and it’s not like the price makes it worth it.
So, what do you do?
You have to add value in some way, but preferably you need to make your shipping times faster.
Now, using AliExpress’s faster shipping is expensive, especially per product, so that option is out the window.
You can either…
- Ship a lot of inventory directly to your house.
- Ship a lot of inventory to a warehouse, such as Amazon FBA or other fulfillment warehouses.
Option A means you may be working out of your garage for some time, and you better hope you have space. This also means money spent on the inventory.
Option B is a bit more expensive because you have to pay for both inventory and Fees, no matter the warehouse. But, at least with Amazon FBA you can use their platform.
With either option, you better hope the product you chose really sells.
The good thing is, that’s not the only option.
You can also find drop-shippers inside the U.S., but these may not be at the nice prices from China. Still, this is a good, less expensive option. However, finding these U.S. drop-shippers may be a bit more difficult.
By all means, if you want to drop-ship from China go for it. But you may find yourself struggling, especially at first. Keep in mind most drop-shipping “gurus” have their own warehouses in the United States for faster delivery times.
Want to make this even better? Create a subscription-box business and, for a fixed monthly fee, customers get a box of products every month and you get a nice, reoccurring income.
This option requires more upfront fees and is not a good beginner-friendly option if you are new to selling products online and marketing. However, you can start a subscription-box business from your own garage!
If you want another method of selling online that is a bit more hands-on and, in some cases, even more, creative then you should try Retail Arbitrage.
Retail Arbitrage is simple. All you have to do is…
- Buy products for low prices at places such as Walmart, the dollar store, garage sales, thrift stores, or other places.
- Try to add value in some way: Perhaps selling in bundles, upcycling/flipping things like clothes or furniture.
- Selling online or even locally, such as on Ebay, Amazon, OfferUp, PoshMark, LetGo, and more. (Hint: Online is often better).
Keep in mind that heavier, larger items are harder to sell and cost more in shipping.
Besides selling other people’s products through drop-shipping or retail arbitrage, there’s another thing you can do: Create your own.
Here’s a list of the types of products you can create:
- Print-On-Demand Products
- Sell your own designs and use print-on-demand websites selling things from shirts, phone cases, mugs, journals, hats, pins, stickers, and more.
- Digital Products
- You can sell digital products on your own website, Etsy, GumRoad, or other platform and sell ebooks, courses, templates, designs, and more.
- Create a physical product
- This one has more investment, but you can partner with a manufacturer and design your own product. This requires shipping the product to your house and writing down anything that needs to be fixed or changed, sending the updates to the manufacturer, and doing it all again until the product design is just right.
Notice how some of these you can use platforms that already get traffic, while others you may need your own website.
I have a couple of favorite ways to make money online: Blogging while earning with affiliate marketing and selling digital products, and selling services.
Thing is, you can make a lot of money per client when you provide certain services, so why not try it?
If you’re worried about not being good enough or not having a skill, you can fix that, too.
All you need to do is take courses in particular skills and build your portfolio. You can work in exchange for a testimonial which will help you find more clients to work with.
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a person who works remotely and typically helps other bloggers and business owners with day-to-day tasks such as customer service, project management, email management, writing services, research, administrative tasks, and more.
Many VA’s will work long-term, while some may only provide a service that they only do once.
If you are an expert in something and can show you are an expert by writing viral ebooks and guest posting on the top blogs in your niche, then chances are you can make good money out of coaching/consulting people.
You may be able to turn your current job into a remote employment opportunity, or you may want to find other jobs that allow remote working.
This may be…
- Customer service representative
- Remote mail order pharmacy technician
- Virtual receptionist/appointment setter
- WordPress developer
- Python Developer
- Clinical Coder
- Business Development Executive
- Payroll supervisor
If you want to find remote job opportunities, my recommendation is to find work on flexjobs.com. They also provide a lot of resources and tips for interviews, cover letters, resumes, and how to avoid scams.
There are multiple ways you can make an income online – or even a bit of extra money. The key thing to know is, you need to get serious, invest wisely, and have patience.
A business takes time – whether that’s an online store, a blog, or you are working as a virtual assistant. It takes time to get traffic, clients, merchants, documents, and so on.
Want a longer list of ways to make money online?
- 10 Ways to Make Money Online
- 8 Reasons To Start A Blog
- 9 Reasons You Shouldn’t Start a Blog
- How to Set Up Your Blog With SiteGround