How to Make Money Online in 2021

The Complete Beginner’s Guide with 30+ Ways to Earn Money Online

Artem Minaev
Updated: March 19th, 2021
29 min read
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How to Make Money Online in 2021

Are you in search of ways to supplement your primary income? Or do you want to work on your own terms and go online full-time because you are tired of the 9 to 5 grind?

Whatever your reasons may be, the good news is that there are many reliable techniques to start making money online in 2021. 

So, can you and how to make money online? 

Let’s explore in-details some of the best ways of earning income on the internet. 

31 Ways to Start Making Money Online

A quick primer for making money online 

The on-demand or gig economy is flourishing, allowing people to pursue their passions and also be their own boss. In fact, many experts will tell you that traditional employment is dead as we know it. 

People can easily find freelance, flexible or temporary jobs online. And if they are more enterprising, it’s possible for them to start their own online businesses with minimal investment. There are many ways for everyone to earn and still enjoy freedom from a predetermined schedule and an overbearing boss. 

You don’t even have to be tech-savvy to do it. Let’s look at some of the best options to build an income source online from the comfort of your home. 

1. Starting a blog

Blogging is a useful tool for sharing information and important news with people with similar interests and affinities. It allows you to share your perspective about topics that you are passionate about.

Your blog could be about interior décor, politics, business, management, app building or any other topic under the sun. As long as you can write well about the subject matter at hand and understand what your audiences want to read, blogging can be a lucrative way to earn money online.

How to start a blog

Here are the steps you need to take to set up your blog in no time:

  1. Select a niche that you are passionate about.
  2. Choose the right blogging platform.
  3. Set a domain name.
  4. Get a web hosting platform for your blog.
  5. Design or buy a website theme for the blog.
  6. Write content and optimize it for SEO.
  7. Publish it.

Pros

  • Huge income opportunity.
  • Low startup costs.
  • Ability to tap into a worldwide audience.

Cons

  • Takes time to generate a return on investment (ROI).
  • Highly time-consuming.
  • Requires huge effort.

Success stories

Pat Flynn started his high-earning blog “The Smart Passive Income” after the economic collapse of 2008 when he was laid off. Since then, his website has grown into an interactive education and training company. 

Another blogger, John Chow, began his blog JohnChow.com, to help readers explore ways to build their income from zero to six-digits. Follow him to learn more about the earning potential of having your own website to talk about your favorite things. 

Earning potential

The average income of a blogger is $33,128 per year. However, that income can go up to a million dollars easily if you are focused on investing consistent time and effort.

Turnaround time

It usually takes 6-12 months to start generating some feasible income from a blog.

Starting costs  

$2 – $20 per month

Blogging is an excellent way to make money online without investing a huge amount of capital in optimizing your online presence.

Depending on the blogging platform and blog setup you choose, blog hosting will cost you around $2 to $20 per month. Most hosting companies, such as BlueHost, will provide you with a free domain name for one year with their plans.

When it comes to additional startup costs, you might need to invest in WordPress themes, email marketing, plugin development, coding, page designing and a lot more.

2. Building a niche website

If you want to work at your own pace and enjoy more flexibility while earning money online, try building a niche website. 

The site should be aimed towards a micro-topic or a keyword that appeals to a very niche audience. This way you get high-quality targeted traffic that converts better, and that conversion can make you a lot of money in the long-term. 

How to set up a niche website

You need to:

  1. Select the specific interest that you are an expert in.
  2. Choose a domain name.
  3. Find a hosting provider and set up your site.
  4. Create and fill your website with content. 
  5. Optimize your site for search engine rankings.
  6. Launch the niche website.

Pros

  • Massive potential for growth.
  • Low startup costs.
  • Less competition.

Cons

  • Takes time to grow your audience base.
  • Requires regular maintenance.
  • Needs new and upgraded content consistently.

Success stories

Allen Walton, a high-school dropout, founded his spy camera website that is now on track to earn a seven-digit revenue. Mr. Money Mustache is another niche-specific website created by a retiree, and it focuses on personal finances and tips about saving money.

Earning potential

A niche website has the potential to generate an income between $200 and $4000 per month.

Turnaround time

It takes six months to two years to start earning from a niche website, depending on the type of products and services you sell and promote.

Starting costs 

From $3.00 per month

With a robust web hosting service, you can earn recurring revenue without investing a huge amount of money as startup costs.

Setting up your niche website with shared hosting costs around $3.00 per month, which includes a free domain that comes with the one-year plan.

Moreover, if you decide to create a niche website using the website building platforms like Wix, you need to consider its pricing plans from $14/month.  Additional costs include website theme, content, integrations, SEO, and marketing or even purchasing a stable internet connection.

3. Starting a YouTube channel

People around the world use YouTube to watch videos for education, entertainment and more. 

You could monetize this phenomenon by creating and publishing videos online. If you are enthusiastic about a particular topic that lends itself well to video, starting a YouTube channel is the way to go.

How to start a YouTube channel

To create a channel on YouTube, you need to:

  1. Create an account on YouTube.
  2. Activate your channel.
  3. Select a profitable niche.
  4. Complete the channel description.
  5. Insert your logo and necessary artwork.
  6. Start making videos.
  7. Promote your channel beyond YouTube.

Pros

  • No upfront costs.
  • Gain access to a vast audience base.
  • Doesn’t require technical skills.

Cons

  • No guarantee of a constant revenue stream.
  • Takes time to gather an audience for your channel.
  • High competition.

Success stories

Ryan’s World is a YouTube channel with 27.2 million subscribers. In the videos, 9-year-old Ryan Kaji plays with toys and reviews them for the benefit of his young subscribers. He is one of YouTube’s highest-paid stars, making $29.5 million in 2020.

PewDiePie is run by Felix Arvid, a Swedish YouTube Vlogger who has amassed 108 million subscribers by offering reviews about video games. His channel earned around $13 million last year.

Earning potential

On average, YouTubers earn $3 to $5 per 1000 video views, but this number may vary for your channel.

Turnaround time

You can only start to earn money from YouTube if you have a linked AdSense account. Moreover, you need to have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of clocked watch time within the past 12 months for the platform to allow you to monetize your channel. 

Starting costs  

Free to start

To start a YouTube channel, you just need to sign up to YouTube for free, make your profile and start sharing videos without worrying about the startup costs.

If you want to record high-quality videos, you need to spend money on video production equipment such as a camera, microphone, light, etc. for which you can invest between $500 to $10,000 for high-quality video making gear.

If you go for a video editing platform like Adobe Premiere Pro, you might need to invest $239.88 for its recommended annual plan.

4. Starting a podcast

If you have the gift of the gab and don’t mind talking up a storm about your interests, then perhaps you should have your own podcast. 

It is a very effective medium for hobbyists to share their interests and for business owners to create brand awareness and tap into a vast audience.

How to start a podcast

  1. Select your topic, name, and target audience.
  2. Plan the format for each episode (length, guests, call-ins).
  3. Create the artwork and write a description for the podcast.
  4. Select the right equipment to record and edit the podcast.
  5. Record and edit your audio files.
  6. Find the right podcast hosting provider.
  7. Publish it to podcast directories through RSS feed.

Pros

  • Offers access to a vast audience.
  • Simple to create.
  • Higher consumption rate than other mediums.

Cons

  • Time-consuming to create.
  • Can incur high overhead costs.
  • Requires patience to build an audience base.

Success stories

John Lee Dumas hosts the podcast “Entrepreneur on Fire,” in which he has interviewed 2,600 top entrepreneurs and business owners about how they have succeeded in making their mark in the world.

The Tim Ferriss Show podcast by Tim Ferris has been ranked as the number 1 podcast by Apple podcasts on several occasions, and it has exceeded 600 million downloads. 

Earning potential

If your podcast manages to achieve 10,000 downloads per episode, you can easily make $500-$900 per episode with affiliate marketing. 

Turnaround time

Based on your audience growth, some podcasters start generating an income in 6 months, while it may take longer than a year for others.

Starting costs  

$5 to $50 per month

Even though you can spend a lot of money to start a podcast, you don’t necessarily have to. The following are some important considerations you need to make while calculating the starting costs of a podcast.

Podcast hosting starts from $5 to $50 per month. While podcast editing software ranges from $9/month to $500 if you go for a one-time purchase.

If you don’t have the proper equipment to start a podcast, you need to invest in a computer, microphone, audio editing and recording software, and high-quality headphones.

5. Dropshipping business 

With dropshipping, you can quickly sell products online without handling huge amounts of stock and carrying an inventory.

How to start a dropshipping business 

  1. Select a dropshipping business niche or idea.
  2. Conduct competitor analysis.
  3. Find the right supplier that aligns with your requirements.
  4. Build an online dropshipping store.
  5. Promote your store.

Pros

  • Sell products from any niche.
  • No inventory required.
  • Little to none upfront costs.

Cons

  • Expensive drop shipping fee.
  • Problems with suppliers such as inaccurate stock information.
  • Slow deliveries.

Success stories

Meowingtons started small with cat-related products, and now they attract thousands of visitors to their site each day thanks to their stellar online promotional campaigns.

District of clothing is a print-on-demand store that gradually grew its revenue through influencer marketing. 

Earning potential

Successful dropshippers can earn between $1000 and $50,000 per month with $100 – $20,000 in profits.

Turnaround time

It can take up to 6 months to a year to start earning profit from your dropshipping store.

Starting costs

Starts as low as $29/month

With a low barrier to entry, you can easily start a  dropshipping business without investing a huge amount of money spent on inventory.

To build a dropshipping store, you will have to sign up for a Shopify subscription that starts as low as $29/month preceded by a 14-day free trial. Investing in a domain will also cost around $2 to $15 per year.

There’s an on-going cost associated with dropshipping that includes your eCommerce platform’s plan renewal.

A print-on-demand business is a great way to monetize your creativity and sell customized products online.

Best of all, this strategy makes it possible for you to forego investment requirements and inventory risks, and go straight to selling bespoke products (mugs, diaries, t-shirts, etc.) at a fraction of the cost.

How to start selling print on demand products

  1. Select a profitable niche idea.
  2. Start creating designs.
  3. Select your print provider/marketplace. 
  4. Start adding products to your store.
  5. Promote your store on popular platforms.

Pros

  • Design and create products quickly.
  • Low upfront costs.
  • No inventory.

Cons

  • No control over shipping.
  • Low-profit margins.
  • No access to your client list.

Success stories

A Los Angeles based print-on-demand enthusiast, Peter Fitzer, sold over 25,000 products and earned $500K in his first year of business.

Liora Goren is a mother and an Etsy seller who started her fast-growing online store called Ahatvi Lifestyle, which offers print on demand home décor items such as bath mats, towels, and much more. 

Earning potential

Depending on the markup and sales numbers, you can earn between $500 and $15,000 every month.  However, your experience and promotional strategies are also an important part of this equation. 

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on how quickly your brand starts to land sales.

Starting costs 

Free to start

You can start your print on demand business for free or start from $24.99 if you opt for a premium print on demand site.

To avoid coming across some unexpected bumps on the road to set your print on demand business, you need to be aware of the expenses involved.

You can go for print-on-demand sites such as Printify that offer a Free version and a Premium version of $24.99/month. You can also opt for Printful that charges you for the fulfillment, shipping, and other applicable taxes on every order, or go for RedBubble that deducts its service fee, shipping costs, and manufacturing fee at every sale.

7. Become an influencer on Instagram

Popular Instagram influencers earn millions by creating promotional content for brands. However, before you can get there, you’ll have to start your Instagram profile and page, and then go on to build quality content that attracts followers. 

Once you have amassed enough followers (several thousand at least), brands will begin to take an interest in what you can do for them.

How to become an influencer on Instagram

  1. Select a niche you are passionate about.
  2. Create high-quality and engaging Instagram posts.
  3. Select a consistent design theme.
  4. Write an enticing Bio.
  5. Write captions that encapsulate your brand’s voice.
  6. Select the right hashtags.
  7. Follow a consistent schedule to post new content.
  8. Interact with your followers.
  9. Reach out to brands that work in your niche.
  10. Collaborate with other influencers.

Pros

  • Opportunities to work with highly profitable brands.
  • Free products.
  • A chance to inspire people.

Cons

  • An uncertain career choice.
  • It’s a 24/7 job.
  • Immense efforts to gain an audience.

Success stories

Huda Kattan, a beauty blogger, and Instagram influencer has 48 million followers. She started with makeup tutorials, and now she manages her own makeup company by the name of Huda Beauty.

Kayla Itsines is a personal trainer on Instagram with nearly 12.7 million followers, and she posts workout videos and diet plans. 

Earning potential

With 6000 to 10,000 followers, you can expect to earn an average of $88 per post, but with more than 1,000,000 followers, you can earn $670 per post.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on how quickly you manage to build a loyal audience base.

Starting costs  

Free to start

You can become an Instagram influencer and gain a huge follower base without investing money

For high-quality content, you might need to invest in a good camera-quality smartphone or a camera. You can also publish custom graphic design posts if you are good at design or hire a graphic designer to do it for you. 

8. Selling online courses

You can now leverage the power of the internet and help learners seeking to learn new things through online courses.

How to sell online courses

  1. Select the topic.
  2. Conduct market research to analyze the demand.
  3. Clarify the learning outcomes.
  4. Create the content.
  5. Select the right course selling platform.
  6. Promote your course online.

Pros

  • High-profit margins.
  • Charge high prices for premium content.
  • Courses can be about a variety of topics.

Cons

  • Need an online service to host the course online.
  • Success depends on the demand for that course.
  • It consumes time and energy.

Success stories

Nick Stephenson created an online course for professionals to improve their marketing efforts, and he managed to earn $130,208 in his first week.

Earning potential

You can sell your online course on a monthly subscription basis or for a lump sum amount. Its cost really depends on the content’s quality and demand. If you’ve done the market research right, you’ll know what your audiences are willing to pay for it. 

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on how quickly you promote your course to the right audience, attract them and sell your course.

Starting costs  

Free to start

There are several different options to create an online course that you can choose from according to your budget.

If you decide to go for an online course platform such as Skillshare, it is entirely free to sign up, but every time you sell a course, it cuts a share from the profits.

Similarly, Udemy is another online course platform that is entirely free to sign up, but it takes a share from your profits for every course you sell.

There are certain on-going costs associated with selling your online course that includes the renewal of online course platforms or video hosting subscriptions. Other expenses include a good video camera, presentation software, email marketing platform, webinar platforms or payment processing apps.

9. Publishing and selling eBooks

With self-publishing on the rise, this is an excellent time to write and sell your own eBooks to establish authority on a topic you hold expertise in.

How to publish and sell eBooks

  1. Choose the eBook topic. 
  2. Decide a title for the eBook.
  3. Write the eBook.
  4. Format the eBook.
  5. Proofread and edit it.
  6. Select a cover that appeals to your audience.
  7. Add it to a website.
  8. Promote your eBook.

Pros

  • Easy to publish.
  • Low upfront costs.
  • Write about any number of genres that interest you.

Cons

  • Less profitable than print book versions.
  • Requires expertise in a specific niche.
  • Don’t have a support team such as an editor or an agent.

Success stories

Stefan Pylarinos is an internet marketer who has managed to earn six-figure revenue by writing and publishing non-fiction eBooks on Amazon.

Kyle Taylor, the owner of The Penny Hoarder, succeeded in making $2000 from his Kindle eBook about backpacking. 

Earning potential

This depends on the price you set for each eBook. So, if you are selling one eBook every day for $17, you can earn $500 in a month. 

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on the time it takes for you to attract an audience for your eBook and sell it.

Starting costs  

Free to start

Creating and selling an eBook requires no or minimum investment. All you need is a Word document, convert the document into pdf and send it out to people.

Other expenses of creating and selling an eBook include investing in a computer if you don’t have one, a well-designed eBook cover and a payment processing app.

10. Freelancing

Freelancing offers you the opportunity to exercise your skills and work in whatever niche you are passionate about. This is a great way to earn money on your terms.

How to start freelancing

  1. Select a niche.
  2. Clarify the services that you offer.
  3. Determine your ideal client.
  4. Create a high-quality portfolio.
  5. Build your credibility.
  6. Set your pricing.
  7. Plan the perfect pitch.
  8. Start landing freelance gigs.

Pros

  • Flexible working hours.
  • Complete control over your workload.
  • High potential to make a lot of money.

Cons

  • Unstable income source.
  • Highly competitive marketplace.
  • Prone to distractions and procrastination.

Success stories

Chiara Ferragni, one of Italy’s most influential people, started freelancing with a small travel blog and soon turned into an international star.

Kelly Vaughn, a web developer, left her government job to start her own fast-growing freelance business.

Earning potential

A freelancing gig’s income depends on the type of work you pitch for and the pricing you set for each task. But on average, a freelancer manages to earn $19 an hour.

Turnaround time

You get paid according to the terms set with your client, which is mostly at the end of submitting a task.

Starting costs

Free to start

Stepping into the world of freelancing is a huge step but there’s some important factors that you need to consider before you start such as the starting costs.

It is completely free to sign up to a freelancing platform and start getting gigs. You can also create your own website to showcase your work. You need website hosting that starts at $2.75/month with a free domain name.

There are other expenses associated with freelancing that includes ongoing costs of domain renewal and hosting social media management tools and plugins, office equipment, bookkeeping and payment processing software, and a marketing campaign.

11. Become a writer on Medium

Medium is an online publishing platform that allows you to share your stories and ideas with a diverse audience.

How to become a writer on Medium

  1. Create an account on Medium.
  2. Write a story or a blog.
  3. Format the text of your pieces.
  4. Integrate media or images .
  5. Share the draft and hit publish.
  6. Analyze the results.

Pros 

  • Allows you to reach a vast audience.
  • Generates high traffic for publications.
  • No SEO efforts required.

Cons

  • You do not own your content.
  • No tracking or analytics option.
  • No control over metadata.

Success stories

Tim O’Reilly, the founder of O’Reilly Media, writes insightful articles about technology and business on Medium and has gained 257K followers.

Biz Stone, the CEO of Jelly Industries, offers business advice to startups through Medium. He has gained over 204K followers.

Earning potential

If you post at least one story in one month, you can earn up to $100 per month

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on the time it takes for your profile to grow your follower base and reach.

Starting costs  

Free to start

Medium allows you to sign up for free and start earning money by writing to its huge audience base. 

Other expenses of starting as a writer on Medium include investing in a computer or laptop if you don’t have one already.

12. Creating an app

With the rise of apps, you can now make a lot of money by developing an app.

How to create an app

  1. Plan your app.
  2. Observe competing apps with the same target audience.
  3. Start building your app.
  4. Create a wireframe.
  5. Design the visual aspects of the app.
  6. Observe the app’s front-end and back-end.
  7. Test your app for bugs.

Pros

  • High revenue potential.
  • Complete control over the project.
  • High scalability potential.

Cons

  • Consumes time and money.
  • Frequent complex maintenance.
  • Challenging to track data and analytics.

Success stories

Sylo Smart Wallet app, founded by Dorian Johannink, is a social fintech app that exceeded 100,000 downloads in just two months. 

Six Clouds – Ignite app, founded by Dip Dhingani of Creole studios, is now used by more than 2500 users in Uzbekistan daily. 

Earning potential

The revenue per download of an Apple app is $0.1, while revenue for a Microsoft app is $0.1538 per download.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on how effectively you market your app and gain an audience.

Starting costs

Starts at $18/app/month

To create an app, you need app development tools such as Appy Pie that starts at $18/app/month, or Ionic that allows you to start for free and later upgrade to $42/month.

13. Online garage sales

If you want to earn money while decluttering your house, an online yard sale is the best way to make the most of unwanted items in your home.

How to make money with an online garage sale

  1. Scour the house for unwanted and unused items.
  2. Gather all of the things.
  3. Take pictures of all the stuff.
  4. Observe eBay and Craigslist to see the prices of similar items to get an idea of pricing.
  5. Start listing the items.

Pros

  • No effort required to move items to your yard.
  • No competition.
  • More potential buyers than physical garage sales.

Cons

  • The high cost of advertising for paid listings.
  • Incurs shipping costs.
  • Takes effort.

Success stories

Sarah from Abundantly Normal, a decluttering blog, managed to earn $2000 by selling her old stuff. This included course books that were not used anymore and video games on eBay and Amazon.

Earning potential

The earning potential depends on the individual and the collective price of the items you have chosen to sell.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time is based on the promotion of your listing and how quickly you manage to get it in front of your target audience.

Starting costs  

Free to start

You can easily declutter your house and sell all the unwanted items without spending a single penny on the online garage sale.

You can easily hold an online garage sale on Facebook communities or sell them on apps and websites dedicated to online garage sales without spending any money.

14. Flipping goods online

This is when you buy things at economical rates and then sell them at a higher price to gain profit.

How to flip stuff online

  1. Select a niche.
  2. Find items to sell through online garage sales or auctions.
  3. Look for unique or expensive items to sell.
  4. Take pictures of the items.
  5. Price the items.
  6. List the items on online selling marketplaces.
  7. Offer a clear description of the item.
  8. Include shipping information.

Pros

  • Variety of niches to select from.
  • Low upfront costs.
  • Flexible timing.

Cons

  • Inconsistent income.
  • Requires effort and hard work.

Success stories

Glen Zubia started flipping to supplement his wages, but the revenue surpassed his primary income in a year. He bought two Disney statues for $20 each from a garage sale and managed to sell them for $3000 on eBay. 

Earning potential

If you are just getting started, expect to earn around $500-$1000 each month.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on your income goals, but you could be all set to flip items online to earn money in a week.

Starting costs  

From $0 to $200 per item

There’s absolutely no barrier to entry when it comes to flipping used items that you can easily find at thrift stores or garage sales. 

Any amount of money is enough to get started with flipping items. You can even get started for free if you flip items that you already own. 

Buy a used item or sell your own household item on Facebook, Craigslist, eBay or Amazon with no ongoing costs or a considerable start up fee.

15. Flipping sports cards

If you have a sports card collection, you can easily make money out of them by merely flipping them online.

How to flip sports cards

  1. Capture high-quality images of your sports card collection.
  2. List the cards in the right category on online selling marketplaces.
  3. Offer a clear description.
  4. Emphasize their condition.
  5. Set your pricing.
  6. Promote your credibility.

Pros

  • Receive the selling price that you specify.
  • Sell cards at your own pace.
  • High revenue potential.

Cons

  • High shipping costs.
  • Deal with low-ball offers.
  • Pay a commission to COMC.

Success stories

Karni, a high-volume sports card seller on eBay, has over 14,000 listings with 600-800 shipments going out every month.  

Earning potential

The earning potential of flipping your sports cards depends on their actual price and the increase in value at the particular time you are selling. A sports card that you buy for $40 might be valued at $80 after a few months.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on how quickly the sports card reaches its target selling price.

Starting costs  

From $20 per item

Regardless of your budget limitations, you can flip sports cards online by either starting as a collector, investor or even both.

To flip sports cards, you can start from any price point that you want. If you do not have enough money to invest, you can start with a $100 budget.

Set a budget for the amount of money that you are willing to spend on sports cards. For long-term investment, you need to gather sports cards on generational icons.

16. Testing websites and apps

If you are tech-savvy and have a stable internet connection, you can test websites and apps for developers and get paid for your work.

How to test websites and apps

  1. Sign up to an online website or app testing platform.
  2. Test the functionality of the site or app by checking all the links, cookies, HTML, and CSS.
  3. Perform usability testing by checking the navigation and content.
  4. Test the interface, including the Application, web server, and database server.
  5. Check the database.
  6. Test compatibility across different browsers and devices.
  7. Monitor performance.
  8. Check security. 

Pros

  • You get experience as a QA tester.
  • Improve your analytical skills.
  • Low competition.

Cons

  • High upfront costs for training etc.
  • Requires technical knowledge and experience.

Success stories

Justin Houser encountered some financial challenges which forced him to review websites to generate income and pay off his debts. He started with trymyUI that promised to pay $30/hour. Then he switched to User Testing and later Amazon FBA. Since switching to Amazon FBA, Justin has earned a six-figure income by reviewing popular websites. 

Earning potential

The majority of website testing companies pay $10 for each test, while some pay $15 to $25.

Turnaround time

You get paid as soon as you complete each test.

Starting costs  

Free to start

To test websites and apps from home, you just need to be internet savvy and have all the right equipment to perform the tests.

Other expenses might include the costs of basic equipment to perform online tests including a computer, microphone, and a stable internet connection if you don’t already have one.

17. Try Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)

Amazon Mechanical Turk is an online crowdsourcing platform where you can perform menial tasks remotely for a small amount of money.

How to earn money through Amazon Mechanical Turk

  1. Register on Amazon Mechanical Turk.
  2. After your application is approved, you will see HITS or tasks on your dashboard.
  3. Complete and submit your HIT.
  4. The Requester approves the submitted HIT.
  5. See your earnings on the Dashboard page.
  6. Go to the Earnings page and enter the amount you want to transfer to your bank account.
  7. Enter Amazon Payments account password.
  8. Add your banking information.
  9. Complete the steps to transfer funds to your account.

Pros

  • Lots of available tasks.
  • Transfer the earnings to your bank account easily.
  • Flexible working schedule.

Cons

  • Low income.
  • High-paying assignments require added qualifications.
  • Need to complete a task in 3 minutes.

Success stories

Kristy Milland switched to Amazon Mechanical Turk after earning money through odd jobs and started making $100 per day.

Earning potential

On average, you can earn $2 per hour on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Turnaround time

You can start earning as soon as you complete the HITs.

Starting costs

Free to start

Choose from a variety of available tasks and start to apply for skills that interest you on Amazon Mechanical Turk. It is completely free to sign up to Amazon Mechanical Turk and start looking for HITs that interests you.

If you don’t have a proper computer or a stable internet connection, you might have to invest in one.

18. Take surveys for cash

Hundreds of businesses are looking for feedback and opinions about their products or services to make their processes more efficient. You can leverage this opportunity by filling out their surveys from the comfort of your home.

How to earn money by taking surveys

  1. Select a company and register with it after assessing its legitimacy.
  2. Create your profile and fill out all of the relevant details.
  3. Get the company surveys through email.
  4. Fill out the survey questions.
  5. Start earning rewards in the form of points or cash. 

Pros

  • Consumes little time.
  • Work on your schedule.
  • Requires no qualifications.

Cons

  • Low income.
  • No daily surveys.
  • No fixed earnings.

Success stories

Chris Muller paid his debt of $80,000 in credit card and student loans in just three years by taking online surveys. 

Earning potential

Businesses pay anywhere from $1 to $20 to anyone willing to fill out their surveys. But you can expect to make at least between $1 and $5 for each survey.

Turnaround time

You get paid as soon as you fill out a survey and submit it.

Starting costs  

Free to start

Taking online surveys is one of the easiest ways to earn some spare cash online. The more surveys you take, the more money or points you get that you can later redeem.

To take surveys, you can either sign up to paid survey sites and earn money or look for websites that pay you for taking online surveys.

19. Sell your photos or digital art

Are you a talented artist or a designer? In that case, you can capitalize on your skills by selling your photographs or digital artwork online.

How to sell your photos or digital art

  1. Determine your target audience.
  2. Assess what you should be selling.
  3. Set a price.
  4. Approach the right marketplace to sell your digital artwork, such as Shopify, Etsy, etc.
  5. Distribute your artwork on multiple platforms to increase revenue.

Pros

  • No hassle of inventory, printing, or packaging.
  • Low investment.
  • High profits.

Cons

  • Illegal sharing of your digital files.
  • A lower price point damages your bottom line.
  • Misrepresentation of your artwork.

Success stories

Tara McPherson is a New York-based artist who has sold her artwork on multiple platforms and went on to create posters for rock bands such as Metallica. 

Sebastian Gomez de la Torre is a Texas-based illustrator that sells artwork on his website. 

Earning potential

Your digital artwork can fetch $1 to $50 depending on the quality and appeal of your product as well as the popularity of your talent.

Turnaround time

You start earning money as soon as you start making sales, which can vary for different selling platforms.

Starting costs  

Free to start

Digital artwork serves as a lucrative option for generating income by doing what you love without the worries of overhead costs. You don’t need to invest any money to start selling your digital artwork and photographs online.

Some expenses might include investing in a good-quality camera for striking photographs or graphic designing tools to create mesmerizing artwork.

20. Sell your handicrafts on Etsy

If you are good at making jewelry, knitting, sewing, crafting of any kind, or making printables, you can easily earn money online through your creativity by using the Etsy platform.

How to sell your handicrafts on Etsy

  1. Determine what you want to sell.
  2. Set your online shop on Etsy.
  3. Decide on the name, logo, and profile picture.
  4. Fill in the required details.
  5. Take high-quality pictures of your handmade crafts.
  6. List the products on Etsy.
  7. Decide and set the pricing.

Pros

  • Access to thousands of buyers.
  • Variety of niches to sell in.
  • Get paid quickly.

Cons

  • High competition.
  • Etsy charges 3.5% of the item’s sales price in addition to payment processing costs.
  • Limited options to customize your Etsy shop.

Success stories

Toriska is an Etsy brand that deals in handbags and clutches, making substantial earnings from Etsy.

BeeZeeArt is owned by an art student, Brittany Zerkle, and it sells sewing patterns and handmade stuffed animals on Etsy. 

Earning potential

On average, a person can earn $3,400 per month by selling handmade crafts on Etsy.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time of your Etsy store depends on the sale of your handmade crafts.

Starting costs

$0.20 per listing + 5% fee

When it comes to selling handcrafts on the Etsy store, it is important to keep things simple or it becomes difficult to launch your online store.

To start selling on Etsy, you need to pay a listing fee of $0.20 per listing along with a 5% transaction fee on the sale price of the handmade item.

Other than the listing and transactional fee, you might need to invest in the materials necessary to make those handmade items.

21. Become a translator

Online translation has become a lucrative industry, especially since more businesses than ever are choosing to go global with their products and services. 

How to become a translator

  1. Become accredited or certified in a particular language.
  2. Take language proficiency tests.
  3. Start practicing your skills as a translator.
  4. Build an online presence.
  5. Find platforms and communities that offer translator jobs.
  6. Set your pricing.

Pros

  • Flexible work schedule.
  • No upfront investment.
  • Low entry barrier.

Cons

  • Inconsistent income.
  • Stressful deadlines.
  • Requires qualifications and in-depth knowledge of a language.

Success stories

Donovan Nagel offers translation services in Egyptian Arabic and earns a handsome income to live comfortably.

Earning potential

On average, a translator earns $20.62 per hour.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on how quickly you land a client and start offering your services, and for that, you need to market yourself.

Starting costs  

Free to start

There are several websites online where you can advertise your services as a freelance translator to earn some money on the side. But when you are just starting out, you need to consider the amount of money you need to invest in.

If you are fluent in a specific language, there are no starting costs associated with becoming a translator.

Some additional expenses might include investing in a good computer or a stable internet connection.

22. Make money as a gamer (Twitch)

Twitch is an online platform that allows gamers to record videos while playing games and charging viewers to see those videos.

How to earn money as a gamer on a Twitch account

  1. Sign up for Twitch and register your account.
  2. Build your audience by becoming an accomplished player or playing popular games.
  3. After gaining followers, Sign up for the Twitch Partnership Program.
  4. Enable the monetization options available on Twitch.
  5. You can also earn money without signing up for the partnership program through donations, promotions, and several other tactics.

Pros

  • Generate high revenue.
  • No upfront costs.
  • No technical skills required.

Cons

  • Twitch takes a cut on subscriptions and streaming.
  • Streaming only broadcasts for 24 hours on Twitch.
  • Extra effort to register your revenue for taxes.

Success stories

Johnny MacDonald has acquired more than 2000 monthly subscribers. He also invites other pro-players to compete with him on his profile while he does the commentary. 

Jaime Bickford earns $1 to $1000 in tips when she live-streams her gameplay as a female professional player in Rocket League.

Earning potential

On average, professional and experienced players make around $3000 to $5000 each month on Twitch. This number does not include any ad revenue. 

Turnaround time

To start earning, you need to qualify for the Twitch Affiliate Program. It has multiple requirements, including having at least 50 followers over the last 30 days, three or more concurrent viewers, and more.

Starting costs 

Free to start

If you are starting your Twitch journey, you need to know that earning money with your Twitch account is all about investing in the right equipment, features and maintaining an active audience.

Making an account on Twitch and streaming games is completely free.

You might need to invest in a desktop or laptop that aligns with the system requirements of the game. Moreover, you need to get a high speed internet connection and remain prepared to pay taxes and fees.

23. Buy and sell custom domains

In this tech-centric world, an online business that deals with buying and selling custom domains offers lucrative opportunities.

How to buy and sell custom domains

  1. Set your budget.
  2. Choose a niche.
  3. Search for high ranking keywords.
  4. Look for local domain names.
  5. Search for existing domain names.
  6. Look for domain names that are relevant to your keywords.
  7. Buy a new domain.
  8. Build an impressive domain portfolio.
  9. Promote the domains you want to sell.

Pros

  • High revenue opportunities.
  • Low competition.

Cons

  • Requires effort and time.
  • Demands experience and knowledge.
  • It takes some time to generate an income.

Success stories

Ali Zandi, founder, and senior broker at Starfire Holdings earned $58,000 in profit after selling 8 domains within just 60 days of acquiring them.

Earning potential

By selling domains, you can earn over $100,000 per year.  

Turnaround time

It can take months or even years before your domains get any attention online and you manage to make a sale. 

Starting costs  

From $10 to $2000

Domains are found in various price ranges which is why buying a domain depends on your budget.

Buying a domain will cost you from $10 to several thousand dollars.

You can either purchase a domain that has already been registered or purchase the domain and register it. A new domain costs around $10-$20 while a registered domain can be expensive.

24. Tutoring online

If you have specialized training in any subject, from physics to dance, you can teach it to people online. Use cameras, microphones, and presentation software to deliver lessons from your home.

How to start selling online tutoring

  1. Select the niche you want to work in.
  2. Prepare your equipment and computer.
  3. Select the right tutoring software.
  4. Decide on your rates.
  5. Create an online presence.
  6. Opt for payment processing software.

Pros

  • Minimal startup costs.
  • Variety of topics to teach.
  • Leverage your community relationships to land more clients.

Cons

  • Well-rounded experience to earn more revenue.
  • You have to work at the time when your client is available.
  • High competition.

Success stories

Theo started his own online tutoring business, StudentCircle, which is rapidly growing and attracting more clients as the year’s pass. 

Khan Academy is another online learning platform that started with personalized tutorials delivered online by Sal Khan, an American educator, and entrepreneur. 

Earning potential

Online tutors earn at least $30 per hour. However, you can expect to earn around $50 to $60 per hour by offering SAT prep services or teaching other subjects that require expertise.

Turnaround time

As a self-employed online tutor, you earn when a student gets in touch with you. But if you are working with an online agency, you can expect to earn as soon as you are assigned a student. 

Starting costs  

Free to start

Tutoring is a lucrative method for earning money online with no upfront costs and a flexible work schedule.

With online tutoring, you might need to invest in a good computer, microphone, and headphones if you don’t already have them.

25. Selling your music online

If you love composing music, it can serve you as a side-gig or even a full-time job and pave the way for a profitable music career.

How to sell your music

  1. Determine your business plan.
  2. Select the music genre you want to play and sell.
  3. Decide on the music format and the form of products you want to sell your music through.
  4. Package your music creatively with graphic designs and artwork.
  5. Set a price.
  6. Sell it online either through social media platforms or music streaming platforms.

Pros

  • You keep all revenue.
  • Complete freedom to make music on your terms.
  • No startup investments.

Cons

  • You may not know the right audience to tap into.
  • No guarantee of payments right away.
  • High barrier to entry.

Success stories

Ben Phipps succeeded in achieving over 18 million Spotify plays after pitching his song to hundreds of YouTube channels and several SoundCloud channels and bloggers. 

Earning potential

If you decide to sell your music to YouTube, you can earn money through its Partner Program that generates revenue whenever someone clicks on an ad and sees your video.

Turnaround time

Once you’ve sold your music, the platform releases it on their own schedule. For example, Apple iTunes takes 1 to 7 days, while YouTube Music takes 1-2 days to review and approve it.

Starting costs  

Free to start

If you love music, this is the best way to earn side money by selling your music to distribution networks or online labels and get your music on iTunes, Spotify, and other streaming platforms.

Some of the most popular music distribution platforms include LANDR that offers a free plan and 15% commission. Tunecore is another platform that charges $9.99/year for a single and $29.99/year for an album.

26. Become a virtual assistant

As a VA, your job is to provide online support to your clients. Businesses may also hire you to remotely provide customer services and follow up on clients.

How to become a virtual assistant

  1. Determine the services you want to offer as a virtual assistant.
  2. Set your pricing.
  3. Create a website to enhance your online presence.
  4. Create an impressive resume that showcases your skills.
  5. Start applying for virtual assistant jobs.

Pros

  • Complete freedom  to set your own work schedule.
  • Set your own rates.
  • No upfront costs.

Cons

  • You can get distracted.
  • No company paid incentives.
  • Work longer hours to meet deadlines.

Success stories

Caylie Martin is a stay-at-home mother who started working as a virtual assistant and quickly managed to earn $800/month.

Earning potential

On average, a virtual assistant earns $15.78/hour.

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on the workload, projects, and the number of hours you put in.

Starting costs  

Free to start

Like other businesses, even becoming a virtual assistant requires very low startup costs which can be even lower if you have everything you need to do your job.

Other expenses include a computer, internet connection, phone to call clients, and investing in business licenses.

27. Online stock trading

Online stock trading is a great way to earn money, but it can also be quite risky if you don’t know what you are doing. To earn profit, you need to research the market and make appropriate investments.

How to get into online stock trading

  1. Get in touch with a trustworthy online broker.
  2. Research each stock you plan to buy.
  3. Determine the type of trade order you want to place.
  4. Understand the expenses of trading stocks.
  5. Observe how trading stocks affect your taxes.
  6. Start trading your stocks.

Pros

  • Low fee charges.
  • Offers more flexibility and control.
  • Observe investments in real-time.

Cons

  • Can trigger impulsive behavior.
  • High pricing volatility.
  • High risks of misinformation and fraud.

Success stories

In 2010, Tim Grittani traded penny stocks and turned his life savings of $1,500 into his current net worth of $4 million

Earning potential

For some people, their earning potential is in the millions when it comes to online stock trading, while it only results in a loss for some. Be very careful if you are taking this route. 

Turnaround time

Typically, you can make money in almost half an hour, or it might take years for you to see a profit. It depends on the market situation, the stocks you choose to invest in, and your propensity for risk when investing. Remember, the greater the risk, the greater the reward.

Starting costs  

From $100 to $100,000

There are three different types of costs associated with trading stocks online that you need to consider before you set out to invest in it.

To trade stocks online, three different costs include a fee per trade with average charges of $8.90, the broker-assisted fee of $30.99, and an account maintenance fee of $32.50.

Apart from these charges, brokerages often charge miscellaneous fees that include account transfer charges, wire transfer fees or the annual fee on checking accounts.

28. Get paid for hacking

Ethical hacking helps you earn good money if you are passionate about testing your ability to bypass security systems to make a living.

How to get paid for hacking

  1. You need a comprehensive knowledge of networking, programming, databases, and operating systems.
  2. Learn UNIX/LINUX.
  3. Master the art of cryptography.
  4. Get in tune with the latest hardware tools for hacking.
  5. Enroll in an online course about hacking.
  6. Connect with other ethical hackers on social media platforms.
  7. Sign up for online tutorials.
  8. Download practice environments to hone your skills as a hacker.

Pros

  • Highly valued career option.
  • High chances of growth.
  • No barrier to entry.

Cons

  • Invest in gaining skills and knowledge.
  • Involves legal risks.
  • Information disclosure.

Success stories

HackerOne is a bug bounty platform that earned more than $1 million by detecting vulnerabilities in nearly 1500 organizations’ systems. 

Earning potential

The average income of a certified ethical hacker is $83,591 annually. However, it can go all the way up to $129K if you are good at it. 

Turnaround time

The turnaround time depends on your skills and how much time it takes to build your credibility and experience.

Starting costs 

Free to start

If you have a passion for coding and want to build a career in ethical hacking, you can start for free.

But if you want to build your skill sets, you can opt for paid certifications and courses. The most widely recognized certificate for certified ethical hacker costs around $1,199 and the retakes charge $450.

29. Become a mystery shopper

You get to work with customer research panels, spend your day visiting various online businesses and interacting with them to gauge their propensity for customer service. Working as a mystery shopper is a highly flexible way to earn money as a side-gig. 

How to become a mystery shopper

  1. Decide the area you want to work in.
  2. Sign up with companies as a mystery shopper.
  3. Log into their job portal and look for things like the location, time, and pay scale.
  4. Sign up for multiple shops in a day.
  5. Fill in the shop report.

Pros

  • Flexible work schedule.
  • Work from home.
  • Get paid to shop.

Cons

  • Inconsistent earnings.
  • You will need to register with multiple companies for a steady income.
  • Might come across scams and frauds.

Success stories

Kristin Larsen managed to earn over $1231 from mystery shopping in just a year. This amount consisted of reimbursement, shop fee, and bonuses. 

Earning potential

The average salary of a mystery shopper in the US is $15.37 per hour

Turnaround time

You start to earn money as soon as you sign up with the company and submit your shop reports.

Starting costs 

Free to start

Mystery shopping is all about getting paid to shop and enjoying free or reduced-price products and services.

To become a mystery shopper, you do not need any upfront investments.

30. Sell consulting services

This involves offering advice and tips to businesses and individuals by leveraging your own experience. So, if you have extensive professional experience, this career option is for you.

How to sell consulting services

  1. Create a plan for selling your consulting services.
  2. Set the goals you want to achieve by selling your consulting services.
  3. Make sales your number one priority.
  4. Invest time in getting better at sales.
  5. Set your pricing and payment software.

Pros

  • Low upfront costs.
  • Work for clients from various industries.
  • Flexible work schedule.

Cons

  • No steady income.
  • High competition.
  • Cannot determine the results.

Success stories

Paul Jarvis from CreativeClass.io offers consulting services to freelancers who want to build a strong personal brand.

Earning potential

On average, a consultant’s salary ranges from $30,451 to $944,000 per year. 

Turnaround time

You can generate income after each session with your client. 

Starting costs  

Free to start

Selling your consulting services is all about sharing your experience and wisdom with fellow professionals and charging them for it.

Although it is entirely free to start, you might have to invest in office equipment, a computer, scheduling software, and a communication tool.

31. Play online poker tournaments

If you are good at poker, try your hand at the online version to potentially make huge profits. 

How to play online poker tournaments

  1. Download the online poker software of your choice.
  2. Integrate a credit card or prepaid card with the software.
  3. Select the online poker tournament from multi-table or sit and go.
  4. Add variations to the online poker tournament, including rebuys, reentries, and much more.
  5. Understand the rules.
  6. Play winning hands.
  7. Learn bluffing.
  8. Manage your bankroll.

Pros

  • Play multiple tables at a time.
  • Play while staying at home.
  • Earn bonuses.

Cons

  • Cannot call the bluff of the other opponent.
  • Unstable internet connection results in your loss.
  • Need skills and knowledge.

Success stories

Andrew Badecker started playing online poker and grew his skills to dominate the online poker marketplace with a total of $1,933,833 in winnings as of 2019. 

Annette Obrestad earned money by winning freeroll tournaments. She even won a World Series of Poker bracelet while exceeding $3.9 million in profit.

Earning potential

You can win $57.50 a month to $12,000 a month, depending on your win rate and playing level.

Turnaround time

You get paid as soon as you win a game in online poker tournaments.

Starting costs  

Starts at $1-$100

Online poker tournaments are considerably different from live ones. You can easily enter an online poker tournament by investing between $20-$100.

Conclusion

If you are ready to earn money from a side hustle or you have decided to leave your monotonous 9-to-5 job, you are in luck.

Earning online in 2021 is even more exciting, thanks to the many opportunities available out there and the flexibility that comes with them.

If you have any “How to make money online” queries, feel free to get in touch with us!

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