How to Make Money Online for Beginners (Start Earning Fast)

Woman in dark t-shirt counting dollar bills in her hand

The internet is full of opportunity – we all know that. The real challenge is finding it.

No matter where you look there’s a guru telling you how easy it is to make $10,000 per month fast. They’ll tell you that you don’t even need any money, skills, or time. Sure…

Maybe it’s these unrealistic promises that make us skeptical, and that skepticism leads to inaction. But never fear! If you’re a beginner who wants to make money online, we know right where you can start.

Whether you’re looking to start a side hustle, launch a new business, or just make a few bucks from the couch, there’s no shortage of ways to make money. Here are 22 of the best ways to earn extra cash online.

Online Side Hustle Ideas

Online surveys

Brands love to conduct online market research with surveys. There are many online survey companies where you can make money or earn gift cards by simply answering a few questions.

Test websites

Much like online surveys, website owners will pay for real-time feedback from potential customers just like you. With websites like UserTesting, you can earn money online just by interacting with websites and sharing your opinion on new designs and features.

Market research

Nielsen will pay you $50 to install an app, answer a few questions, and use your device as normal for a year. You even get entered into monthly sweepstakes as long as the app continues to record anonymous data in the background.

Become a freelancer

Land freelance gigs on websites like Upwork. Online businesses are searching for remote part-time customer service representatives, writers, social media managers, virtual assistants, and more.

Sell gigs on Fiverr

Explore the Fiverr platform to see what services you can offer. From design to writing and editing to voiceovers, there’s almost certainly some skill that can earn you money in your free time. Plus, you may even develop a new skill you can monetize elsewhere.

Premium Discord communities

Create a private Discord community where members can connect, learn, and rally around similar topics and business objectives. Websites like My 3X Trading provide stock market education, mentorship, and even live trading sessions for their premium members.

Remote call centers

Contract with an agency like Liveops to provide on-demand customer service support from the comfort of your own home. They’ll train you and connect you with opportunities that fit your skills and availability.

Related reading: How To Create A Money Mindset That Manifests Wealth

Start An Online Business

Dropship

Dropshipping is a great way to make money online for beginners because the start-up costs are low and you never have to touch inventory. Products are only purchased and shipped after they are purchased, so if you have the marketing savvy to acquire customers it can be a profitable approach to ecommerce.

Sign up for a free trial with Shopify to get started! Then, source products from Aliexpress, and fulfill with Oberlo for a simple, low-cost tech stack.

Create a POD store

Print-on-demand is another great inventory-free ecommerce play. Services such as Printful and Printify integrate with your ecommerce platform and then produce and ship your orders. POD providers can often produce apparel, accessories, home décor, and more. The key to a POD business is to carve out a niche audience that wants to decorate with or wear your custom designs.

Craft on Etsy

Shoppers on Etsy love unique, handmade products. Whether you have a knack for calligraphy, quilting, woodworking, or candle making, there’s a market for it on Etsy.

Design on Cafepress

With a little artistic skill or the help of an art tool (looking at you, Canva), you can turn designs into easy money with platforms like Cafepress, Amazon Merch, and Zazzle.

Sell stock photos

Is photography your passion? Turn photos on your hard drive into extra cash by selling them on websites like Shutterstock. Getting approved as a contributor is free, but the site takes a cut for facilitating the sale. Volume is key, so join a handful of microstock sites and upload as many generic images as possible.

Flip products on eBay

Create an eBay store for $4.95 per month to get free listings and branding options. Then hit local clearance stores and search for products that you may be able to list higher online. Pay close attention to quality, price, your assumed profit margin, and estimated shipping costs. Rare items (hard to find) and bulky items (hard to deal with) are often big winners. Zig when others zag.

Resell on Amazon

Become an Amazon reseller and download the free Amazon Seller App to get in on the fun of Amazon retail arbitrage. Simply scan a product’s barcode to find its going price on Amazon, estimated fees, and your potential profit.

Create a course

Monetize your skills by teaching a paid course on Udemy. Set your rate, create quality content upfront, and this can become a largely passive source of income.

Start a blog

Pick a topic you’re an expert in or willing to research extensively. Write consistently, and focus on creating a community of like-minded people. The ceiling is quite high for a content business, but it can take quite a while to build links, drive traffic, and ramp up.

Blogs are a great opportunity for experts, who can show the way for others. This is common in spaces like digital marketing, personal finance, and business. But they also work well for learning in public. Mommy bloggers, for instance, share their journeys and personal experiences for other moms to learn from. And when done right, these moms can make serious money while pregnant.

Become an influencer

The most successful influencers run their operations like a business. Consistently creating high-quality content, deeply understanding social media algorithms, and creating partnerships without jeopardizing your audience’s trust are not easy. But few things are as powerful and profitable as a personal brand.

Tutor

Flip back through your report cards and transcripts. Which classes or subjects were you a natural in? Brush up on the material with a resource like Chegg, then promote your tutoring services at local schools or through an online tutoring platform. With experience, you can develop practice problems and a curriculum, and eventually lead small cohorts to increase your earnings per hour. Make even more money online by tutoring for undergraduate and graduate entrance exams. Parents and students will pay handsomely for an opportunity to improve their odds of admission.

Make Money Online With Spare Resources

Sell old clothes

Free up space in your closet and make extra money online with Depop. Selling clothing you don’t wear anymore is as easy as snapping a picture and describing the item. Plus there’s no listing fee – just a 10% charge when it sells.

Rent out your car on Turo

Making money on Turo is easy and convenient. They provide the insurance and demand, you just set your price and your car’s availability. Turo reports that the average annual income from one car is $10,516. That’s enough income to pay off a $30,000 car (purchased with no money down) in 5 years, including expected maintenance and repairs. At the end of five years, you can own your car free and clear and keep it for your own use or sell it for a profit.

Rent out your home on Airbnb

If you’re often out of town, or just want to make use of your spare bedroom, listing your house on Airbnb is a popular way to make money online. Some homeowners even stay at a local hotel when their home is booked, if their home commands a high enough nightly rate. If you look into how to make money with Airbnb, try Wheelhouse‘s dynamic pricing model to maximize your revenue.

Buy a second home and rent it on Airbnb

Investing in real estate via short-term rentals on Airbnb or Vrbo has exploded in popularity since the pandemic. As travelers increasingly seek out unique and Instagram-able accommodations, consider buying a home that offers a special experience. With proper management, your new house should be cash-flowing every single month as you build equity.  

Take advantage of freebies

Many companies offer free bonuses for giving their service a try. Coinbase will give you $10 worth of Bitcoin when you sign up here. Acorns will give you $10 when you make your first deposit. Earn cash back through Rakuten by clicking through their link before doing any online shopping. Or sign up for a new credit card, and spend enough in the first few months to earn the signup bonus. On the plus side, having a larger credit line may even improve your credit score.

Related reading: 10 Creative Ways To Make Money And Ditch the Daily Grind

Deciding How To Make Money Online

There are tons of ways to make money online no matter who you are, or what your schedule looks like. Ask yourself how much money you want to make, how hard you’re willing to work, and what skills you have. And if you’re asking how to make money online as a teen, be aware that you may be limited to a handful of platforms like Fiverr that welcome users 13 and older.

Once you’ve jotted down your qualifiers, re-read this list of 22 ways to make money online and pay close attention to the opportunities that fit your goals. It’s important to be honest here as the easiest way to make $10 is often not the easiest way to make $1,000.

For example, selling clothes on Depop and filling out surveys on Swag Bucks may be the fastest path to making $100 online. But if you’re striving to make an extra $5,000 per month, you may want to consider starting an online business.

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