25 Smart Ways to Make Money Online
This post was last updated on January 01, 2023.
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.
It's a great way to generate passive income, while you focus on creating content on your site. It's a hands off way to make money.
It requires low level resources to get started, once you have your website and Google Adsense connected.
You have have limited control over the content and quality of the ads shown on your site. Yes, Google has policies in place to prevent inappropriate content being shown but you may not have full content over what is shown and how your site visitors will respond to it. Sometimes the content of ads, or just having too many ads on your site can turn visitors off.
Predicting how much money you can make from ads on your site can be tricky, as user numbers and clicks can fluctuate based on targeting. On top of this, Google takes a commission off everything you earn through them which can reduce your final revenue.
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.
Designing websites, especially sites for large businesses can be very lucrative.
Freelance web designers tend to have a lot of flexibility in their working day and schedules, which is a large positive for many creatives.
Navigating client expectations and communication can be tricky.
Working as a freelance creative also involves a large amount of networking and drumming up business for yourself.
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. This is one of the reasons blogging is a great digital nomad job.
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.
A blog is a low startup venture, with the right blogging platform you can often start one for free.
It's a great way to make money online for writers who want independence, flexibility and creativity in what they do.
Depending on your blogging niche, it can be a competitive way to make money as blogging has grown in popularity and scale. And as your blog grows revenue can fluctuate from month to month.
Blogging, while flexible, can be time intensive. Content creation takes time. Blogging is also about more than being a great writer, you'll also need to create a website, distribute your content and engage with your community of readers.
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.
With an online store the entire world is your potential audience. You can market and sell to anyone, anywhere. You can also do this 24/7, as your online store never has to close. You can essentially generates sales while you're asleep.
Starting an online store to make money generally has much lower overhead and startup costs than opening a brick and mortar store.
Depending on your product or service, the eCommerce space can be a highly competitive one, with similar online stores targeting the same audience or market.
There are many things to think of when running an online store, over any other types of website or business. Shipping and logistics is probably one of the main things to get right, and one of the most challenging parts of running an online store, especially if you plan to ship globally. You'll also need to consider the security and reliability (hosting) of your online store to ensure your business continuity.
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.
Starting a dropshipping business to make money is a quick and effective way to generate revenue. It requires minimal overhead costs, and all you need is a good online store and a reliable dropshipping supplier.
You can test selling a wide variety of products without getting stuck with unsold inventory, so you can really take risks or test different product niches, and what sells best. At the same time, it's easier to scale and grow a dropshipping venture because you're not restricted by inventory storage space.
You may have to contend with low-profit margins, as dropshipping suppliers often charge more than a wholesaler for the same product.
As you never physically receive or handle the products you're selling, you have to trust your suppliers quality guarantees. Sometimes there is a mismatch between what they deliver and your customers expectations and you'll have to handle that.
With dropshipping you're completely dependent on the supplier, from the quality of the product, to the shipping times and delivery methods - so if any of these don't meet client expectations, you'll have to handle them.
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.
A paid membership area is a good way to create recurring revenue, on a monthly or annual basis. This can be perceived as more reliable revenue than one-time sales.
Offering exclusive content to paid members can generate a buzz and I need this vibe around your website or content, which can in turn prompt more people to pay for membership access. It's also a great way to build a community around your brand who invests in your paid services and encourages others to do so as well.
A paid membership area requires a reasonable amount of investment and support to maintain interesting, exclusive content that is worth members paying for. Maintaining this can be both time and resource heavy.
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.
Selling second hand clothes or goods online is a low startup cost venture, that allows for flexibility in how and where you work. With the right niche or products, it can also be a high profit way to make money.
Selling secondhand goods is also a great way to promote a more sustainable lifestyle, and contributes to efforts to avoid overconsumption and reusing goods.
While selling second hand goods can help generate a good income, depending on your access to inventory, and how long it takes to source second hand items to sell, this may not always be a consistent one.
Selling secondhand goods can also be a time consuming venture. The goods need to be sourced, collected and also potentially repaired or restored to make them sellable.
You'll be to watch out for fraud, both in terms of paying too much for second hand goods that may not be what they're advertised and sold as, to making sure you collect payments from your consumers for what they receive. Make sure to use a secure payment process.
08. Sell photographs
If you’re a photographer, why not capitalize on your skills by creating a photography website to sell 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.
Selling photographs is a creative and flexible way to make money, especially if you already have a lot of work to sell.
It's also a venture that can be started and managed from anywhere in the world.
Market saturation and high competition is one factor to be aware of when selling your photographs.
Make sure also to protect your work, and your rights to it, by taking intellectual property precautions such as watermarking your images.
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.
Print on demand can be a low risk business model with minimal startup costs. It doesn't require investing in or storing inventory and manufacturing equipment. You just need to make sure you work with a reputable print on demand platform, or integrate one within your website.
It can be a creative business and way to make money, if you work with your own designs, which for some freelancers is a big plus.
Much like with dropshipping, when running a print on demand business to make money, you're dependent on a third party platform for product creation and shipping. This means you don't have full control over quality and the level of service, So it's important to choose this platform wisely. If your supplier runs low on specific inventory, for example, you'll have to explain it to your consumers and potentially miss out on sales and repeat business.
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 a freelance 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.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of being a freelance, is being able to turn something you love into a way to make money. That combined with the flexibility and often the ability to work from anywhere, including from home, makes it a popular choice for many people.
Depending on your specific freelancing industry, you may find it to be a very competitive way to make money.
Freelance incomes can fluctuate, depending on demand and your ability to market yourself to a large audience.
Succeeding as a freelance is about more than being just a great writer, photographer or creative. You'll also need to put to work your business acumen in order to source work for yourself.
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.
Writing online reviews to make money is considered a low barrier entry to working from home, or remotely. You need nothing more than an internet connection and computer to get started.
Generally in order to make a lot of money from writing online reviews, you'll need to write a lot of reviews, fairly fast. This may not be sustainable long term.
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.
Publish a successful eBook and it can help you make money for many years.
Creating an eBook is a creative and often low cost way to generate longer term revenue, or a passive income from a one time effort.
While writing an eBook may come easily to a great writer, marketing and selling that same book may be more of a challenge, especially if it's your first book and you have no experience of marketing one.
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.
With vlogging you have an opportunity to build a strong, large community or audience who identify and believe in your brand. This can then allow you to diversity your income from vlogging, to selling merchandise or other products.
With a large audience, lots of followers and the right brand sponsorships, vlogging can be incredibly lucrative.
Vlogging can be time intensive. It requires constant and consistent video creation in order to build and maintain a following, and audience.
It is a business that leads you are the mercy of social media algorithms to distribute your content, and one change can drastically reduce your reach and potential to make money.
Vlogging also involves a great deal of sharing private information related to your life online, which comes with its own drawbacks and risks.
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.
Video tutorials are a great way to turn your expertise and knowledge in to content that can be shared and distributed to a large audience, and create passive income for you at the same time.
The more authority you establish as an expert in your field through your video tutorials, the easier it is to monetize your content.
Creating video tutorials can be a time consuming way to make money. No matter how well you know your subject matter, you'll have to plan out your video tutorial, including its length and your script. Your video will then need to be edited and promoted. This can take considerable time and resources.
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.
Creating an online course has some benefits over a traditional in-person format. You can reach a larger audience for one, essentially anyone with internet and a computer.
You also have more flexibility in where and how you run your courses online, as you're not tied to one venue or location.
Don't forget potential technical complications when creating online courses. you'll need to make sure your website's hosting is reliable, with high uptime to avoid disruptions in the middle of your courses, that may turn students off.
Make sure to protect your courses, and their content, from intellectual property theft and reuse without your permission.
Some courses, by virtue of their content or your specific teaching style, may require in-person interaction to be truly successful. Courses for children online can be tricky, for example.
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.
Renting out your home allows you to make money, when you're not using it or even while you are. It's a low resource way to generate income from capital you already have.
Renting our your home comes with some risks. Not all renters may respect your home and its furnishings. You will need to be able to trust whoever you let rent it.
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.
Becoming an affiliate marketer is a quick and easy way to make money from home, or anywhere in the world. Also with the wide range of affiliate programs available, you can find something that fits your interests or expertise.
As most affiliate marketing programs work on a commission basis, income can be unpredictable over the short term. This can also be affected by the decision of a merchant to change or discontinue their service or product, which could leave you suddenly without an income.
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.
In today's globalized world, demand for translation services can be high.
Translation projects can be very diverse, ranging from personal to business, and so the variety of work available is vast.
Working as a translator to make money requires highly proficient language skills in several languages. Not every one can meet these high requirements.
Translators often specialize in one type of translation, say medical translations, which over time can prove to be monotonous.
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.
Content writing is currently in high demand from businesses and marketers, so it can be a great way to make money. Technical writers, for example, are always in high demand and as a result can demand high payment rates.
Competition can be fierce for writing contracts, and as a writer you will need to understand how to market yourself and find content writing opportunities.
Many clients will demand very high quality content, and may request you redo drafts or content to meet these standards. This can be a time consuming process.
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.
Being a brand ambassador is usually a flexible endeavor that can be managed around other jobs, or money making ventures. This allows you time to develop it as a steady source of income, before going all in at the start.
Often being a brand ambassador will involve making money, and access to free products and services.
Being a brand ambassador is a great networking opportunity and can lead to even more lucrative or rewarding opportunities down the line.
As a brand ambassador, what you say and do, will most likely be subject to a contract, You'll need to stick to this. And if a brand you represent receives negative backlash for any reason, you may also get caught in the crosshairs.
Work as a brand ambassador can be inconsistent and short term, so you'll have to factor this in when calculating your income generation potential. Maintaining a positive relationship for the brand you work for, can also be a job in itself.
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.
One of the biggest pros of building an app to make money, beyond the flexibility of the work, is the potential to turn it into an entrepreneurial venture. A successful app can morph into a company of its own, setting you on the path to successful entrepreneurship.
If you build a popular app, you've already developed the strong brand identity and trust needed to launch a successful business in its own right.
App development can be expensive, especially if you outsource most of the technical and development work.
Once an app is developed, it will need to be promoted and sold. But it will also need to be managed, and updated to improve the user experience, and to make sure it functions.
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.
Investment in high potential stocks can enable you to make a lot of money. This tends to work better over the long term however.
Generally stocks have a lot of liquidity, meaning they can be sold and bought easily, allowing you to respond to market fluctuations and maximize your profit potential.
Investing in stocks comes with risk - and you should always consult with a financial advisor or professional before investing money. You're not able to control the performance of stocks, and often external factors can have a huge impact on how much money you make.
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.
As more and more businesses understand the impact of social media marketing on their business, social media consulting is in high demand. This can make a role easy to find.
Social media consulting is a rapidly growing niche, with huge potential for professional growth and development for anyone involved in it.
The social media climate and field is constantly changing, both in terms of audience and how the different social media platforms work. Staying on top of these changes, can be challenging for a social media consultant.
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.
Online tutoring is easy to setup and can be done from anywhere. It can also be easily scheduled around existing job or family commitments.
Online tutoring can be hindered by technical difficulties - poor internet connections or issues with video streaming and sound quality.
Some tutors miss the personal interactions that come with teaching in-person, and online tutoring can be difficult to adjust to.
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.
Becoming a life coach can be an incredibly rewarding way to make money, while helping others as a trained professional.
Building up a solid and reliable client base can take time when starting out as a life coach and this can impact on how consistent your income from it is at first.
Ways to make money FAQ
What are some of the easiest ways to make money online?
Go for jobs or ways to make money that can be setup fast and with minimal startup costs. Some of the most popular include dropshipping, print on demand, online tutoring and freelancing.
How can I make money online from home?
Many of the ways to make money online are easily adapted to do from home. Many popular ways to make money online require nothing more than an internet connection and computer, and so can be done from home or anywhere. These include setting up an online store, creating online courses or content writing.
By Cecilia Lazzaro Blasbalg
Small Business Expert & Writer