25 Smart Ways to Make Money Online
This post was last updated on February 16, 2021.
Technology has managed to weave its way into every single aspect of our society, from facilitating our social lives to helping launch our entrepreneurial dreams. By creating a website and expanding your reach, you’ll be able to tap into the endless possibilities the internet has to offer.
And by that, we mean money-making opportunities. Whether you’re an educator, writer, web designer or aspiring influencer, our guide on how to make money online will provide you with proven methods that have worked for millions of people.
How to make money online:
01. Advertise on your website
Just by having a site of your own, you can start earning passive income. There are just a handful of steps you’ll need to take to build a website that makes money online. First you’ll need to choose from one of many professionally designed website templates, select a domain name and get free website hosting. Then you can begin thinking about the different routes toward monetizing your website.
One proven method time and again is online advertising. You can use Google AdSense to place ads on your website. This option is relatively easy as Google matchs ads to your site based on your content and visitors, plus it’s free. Google then pays you based on the number of views or clicks you get on the ads.
02. Design websites
Whether it’s something you have experience in or you’re a natural at, designing websites can be an excellent source of income. In fact, web designers are always in demand as the industry exponentially grows. That said, you’ll need to make a name for yourself in order to stand out. Working with the right clients can help optimize your web design portfolio and highlight your talents.
So, you might be asking yourself, “How do I find my ideal customer?” Joining a distinguished online marketplace for website designers is the best possible way to start generating qualified leads. You’ll get a platform to help you showcase your work, set your price rate and get matched with potential clients who are looking to hire your services. You can also consider partnering with companies that grant you access to special web design tools. As a Wix Partner, you'll get professional resources and be able to enlist the expert help of a company account manager dedicated to increasing your sales funnel conversion.
03. Create a blog
The wonderful thing about blogging is that you can create content about absolutely anything as long as there are people interested in reading it. After some time, your free blog will attract website traffic and offer monetization opportunities.
Once it starts to take off and grow an audience, that will be the perfect time to examine the many money-making opportunities available to successful bloggers. For instance, you can advertise within your blog using Google AdSense or offer paid subscriptions to die-hard fans for exclusive access to your content.
Whichever avenue you choose to take, always think about the preferences and interests of your readers. Check in with them and see what they want by sending an email blast with a survey. Then, you’ll be able to pinpoint what strikes their fancy and how to monetize those ideas directly on your site.
04. Open an online store
Internet shopping has become synonymous with convenience. As a result, people are purchasing more goods online than ever before. You can grab a slice of this profitable eCommerce pie by opening your own online store. Be sure to choose an eCommerce website builder that offers advanced business features, including secure payment and checkout, shipping and marketing tools, and store analytics to help you run your venture.
Launching an online store means that you’ll be starting a business of your own, so make sure you’re prepared. Primarily, you’ll need to test out all your business ideas before introducing them to the world. Do some market research and get feedback from friends and family. They’ll be able to give you valuable information that can be used to improve your product or service. Remember that as a business, you get closer to achieving success by selling something people actually want.
05. Start dropshipping
Did you know that you can be an online seller without needing to stock up on products? Dropshipping lets you sell items using a third-party retailer that completely manages the order fulfillment process. All you have to do is find the right products for your business and connect with a supplier. This also means that you can begin a dropshipping business right away and start accepting customers as soon as you integrate your dropshipping products into your website.
06. Offer paid memberships
The truth is that there are ways to make money online which can strengthen your website. Integrating a membership area to your site is one of them. The idea is that you offer paid membership to your site in exchange for access to exclusive perks.
Regardless of the various membership models out there, they all come together under a common goal to convert site visitors into paying customers. By adding a member’s area to your site, you can offer premium online services, in-depth guides, downloadable material and even create a VIP lounge using Wix Forum, where members may happily connect and start discussions around shared interests.
07. Sell secondhand goods
We all have that bag under the bed. It might be full of clothes you don’t wear anymore, your Lego collection or your original kicks. While you may have outgrown them, many of these saved items are still too precious to toss out onto the street. Rather, you can free up some space and make some decent money by selling these items secondhand. Get on Ebay or Amazon, determine the asking price for your stuff and sit back, relax and watch the offers come rolling in.
08. Sell photographs
If you’re a photographer, why not capitalize on your skills by selling your photos online? It may take some promotion and a little bit of patience, but if you already have a large photo collection, you can focus most of your efforts on branding and marketing. In addition, companies like Shutterstock, iStockPhoto and Shutterfly are willing to make use of your creative snaps. You can become a paid contributor to any of these stock photo platforms by submitting your best content via their site.
09. Offer print on demand
As a designer looking for ways to make money online, you’ve probably considered the idea of selling your own merchandise. This lets you hit two birds with one stone, as you’ll be gaining exposure while also generating a steady flow of revenue. But how would you go about it?
Print on demand is a low-risk method of selling your designs on custom t-shirts, posters, books and more. It eliminates the hassle of buying and managing inventory. All you have to do is connect your online store with a print on demand service and choose the types of products you want to sell - whether that’s clothing, homeware, prints or accessories.
Then, generate mockups of your unique design on the merchandise, and post an image of the product on your site for customers to view. Be sure to consider the following factors when pricing your product: product cost, profit margin and designing and shipping costs.
10. Begin freelancing
Successful freelancers know how to earn money online, cultivating a new standard of business in which efficiency and flexibility go hand in hand. Whether you’re an independent writer, artist, educator or website designer, you’ll find a marketplace that’s diverse and flourishing.
If you’re considering becoming a freelancer, you’ll need two things to get started: a well-defined area of expertise and connections to potential clients. Once you decide on what services to offer, you can create a freelance website, choose a pricing strategy and begin taking on job opportunities.
11. Write online reviews
It may seem far out, but there are some companies that will pay you just for trying out a product or reviewing goods or services. It can also be very profitable for you. Check out companies like User Testing as an example. Credibility goes a long way in the online world, which means brands are willing to pay a lot of money for your honest opinion.
12. Publish an eBook
If blogging has piqued your passion for creative writing, consider writing and selling an eBook. Whatever your choice of topic may be, use your eBook as a tool to tell your story, share your tips or words of wisdom. You could also repurpose your blog content in the form of an eBook, which is guaranteed to excite your existing fans.
Thanks to technological advancements, you can self-publish online, allowing you to skip those nerve-wracking pitch meetings with intimidating publishing houses. Get started by checking out these professional writing templates.
13. Get into vlogging
Vlogging is all the rage right now across social media and the internet. Simply put, a vlog is a video blog post that details the vlogger’s day-to-day life or any relevant event they think is worth documenting. A vlog generally runs for around 5 minutes, which is just enough time to get viewers to feel an emotional connection with the creator and come back for more.
Producing a short video clip requires time and effort, but, if done right, it’s a lucrative way to make money online. YouTube is the most common platform to upload a video for an audience, but your vlog should not be limited to just one site.
In order to increase your web reach, you’ll want to create a strong online presence by posting videos on your own website. Then, you can begin to turn vlogging into a career by selling ad space within your videos or creating sponsored content.
14. Create video tutorials
This is another form of video content, but it’s slightly different from vlogging. Starting a YouTube channel where you either review products or offer tutorials is another great way to make money online. It may require some editing skills (and good lighting), but once you’ve got a decent following, you’ll slowly start to see the dough. How exactly does this work?
Well, the more subscribers you have, the more likely it is that companies will send you products to review or pay you in exchange for product placement. You can also showcase your videos on your website by using Wix Video.
15. Set up an online course
Are you that somebody who seems to have all the answers? Maybe you’ve even earned the nickname Professor from your friends. In that case, you have a great opportunity to earn money online by sharing your knowledge and charging others a fee for prime access.
Set up an online course on your website where you’ll be able to host and stream your classes for all to join. Alternatively, you can sell your course on Udemy or another platform that caters to the e-learning crowd. Whichever option you choose, you’ll want to select a topic that’s in-demand and that people will actually sign up for. Give yourself time to thoroughly research and plan your course, and edit your filmed content so that it’s polished and looks professional.
16. Rent out your home
You can learn a thing or two from Airbnb. One of the easy ways to make money online is through short-term rentals. Be it an apartment, a guest room, or even just a pull-out couch, you can turn these spaces into money-making assets. It’s all about finding the right platform. With Wix Hotels, you can create a listing of the place, manage bookings, accept payments and better yet, allow guests to book in their own language.
17. Become an affiliate marketer
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing involves promoting a company by adding a link to their products on your website or social media pages. Anytime someone clicks that link and makes a purchase, you get a cut of the sale. Sounds good, right? To find affiliate options, take a look at online affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates and the Wix Affiliate Program.
18. Work as a translator
If you are fluent in at least two languages, you are already eligible to work as a translator and help clients around the world. It's a great way to make money online, especially when you can easily connect with potential clients on internet job boards.
You can also advertise your service on your own website and social media pages. Just make sure to show samples of your work and to include testimonials from past clients, as this helps reinforce your reputation and establish credibility.
19. Try content writing
An increasing number of companies are looking to hire writers to create content for their brand, and many of these jobs can be done remotely. With this in mind, you can think about trying your hand at content writing as a way to make money online. To begin, you’ll want to have some writing experience and find a niche to focus on.
Honing in on a specific topic, like food, business or health, will help you become an authority in that field. In turn, your work will become more valuable to your clients, who won’t want to part without your expertise and help you earn more income as a result.
20. Become a brand ambassador
We are all familiar with the concept of influencers. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to fit a certain mold or be a Hollywood celebrity to get hired as a brand ambassador. However, you do need to have a decent size following on social media for this to work.
Remember that when looking for companies to potentially partner with, you want those that closely match your values or interests. This will make it easier for you to represent them and engage with the target market. You can visit a company’s website and search on its career page for a brand ambassador opening. Alternatively, you can check out different influencer marketplaces.
21. Build an app
There are those of us who haven’t stopped aspiring to launch the next smash-hit app. If you have a great app concept and some programming skills, then you’re one step ahead of the pack. If you’re not tech-savvy but have creative ideas, you can always look for a freelance developer to help you build your app.
22. Invest in stocks
Investing is known to be risky. However, for those who have experience in picking stock or are looking to break into the scene, the options for entry-level investors have never looked more attractive. For one, there are commission-free investment apps that make it easy to get in the game and build up your stock portfolio. Second, if you are an employee of a company, you might have the option to invest in company stock.
That said, when investing in stocks, it’s important to have goals in mind beforehand and guide your decision based on reason over emotion. Stay informed and keep track of your performance.
23. Do social media consulting
You can work as a freelancer or build your own social media consulting firm. Either way gives you earning power online. That’s because as a social media specialist, your services are among the most sought after by brands of all shapes and sizes.
The typical duties include social media advertising strategies, driving user engagement, increasing web traffic, creating effective content and developing brand awareness. To start, you can find local small businesses in your area and book them as your first clients. Once you hit a bit of success, reach out to bigger fish with your record.
24. Tutor online
Helping others excel in learning is not only rewarding, but also a great way to make money online. Before you take on clients, think about what type of tutoring you’ll want to offer. Ask yourself, “What are my areas of expertise and who is my target market (kids, high-schoolers, college students or special needs students)?”
Then, decide on how you’re going to provide your services online. For instance, you can create a website where you’ll conduct your tutoring sessions. From there, you can use a number of online tools to assist you and your pupils, such as virtual whiteboards and software to create interactive quizzes, share assignments and track progress.
25. Become a life coach
Life coaching is a powerful career that can be done online. Celebrities and regular folks alike hire life coaches to help them navigate the various challenges in their lives, whether to lose weight, change jobs or build meaningful relationships.
You may have already considered becoming a life coach as someone who truly loves to see people thrive and succeed. But the difference between a professional and a good samaritan lies in the type of credentials they possess. You’ll want to log some hours at an accredited certification program to give you the skills and background you need to be seriously taken in this line of work. Then, you can offer coaching services on your website. Add a scheduling software to your site, which lets clients book online sessions and pay you directly.
Small Business Expert & Writer