Thankfully, the internet offers plenty of avenues for earning extra money or full-time opportunities, but knowing where to start is often the first stumbling block.
Like any other opportunity in life worth pursuing, there’s a hustle involved with online entrepreneurship and making money. While it doesn’t happen overnight, it does happen. Whether you’re looking for a new career opportunity or need an extra $200 a month to help pay your bills, making money online is possible.
Of course making money online shouldn’t be viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme. Online entrepreneurship takes as much thought and planning as any other business venture, and there may be start up costs involved.
It helps to focus on what you want (and need) out of your online venture. But before you jump in headfirst, ask yourself the following questions to see if your online money-making idea works for your lifestyle and your income goals:
- Do I understand the work? Is further research needed?
- Hours per day or week needed
- Can work be completed at any time
- Is this a side hustle or potential full-time gig
- Location dependent or independent
- Income potential
- Startup costs and equipment
- Is a specific degree or certification needed?
- How will I find customers?
11 ideas to make money online
The Acorns app may not be your first thought when asking how to make money online. But if you’re looking for a simple, effortless way to make a little extra money, then Acorns app is one solution.
The concept is simple. Acorns allows you to micro-invest with your spare change or contribute directly to savings and investment accounts. Acorns offers several avenues to help you grow your savings – no matter how small the amount is you choose to invest.
The best part? It costs as little as $1 per month to get started with the savings plans.
Sell your stuff
If you’re looking for a more immediate way to earn money online, consider selling your stuff laying around your house.
Chances are you have several items others may be interested in. The old mountain bike you’ve ridden twice? Sell it. The bracelet from your ex-boyfriend? Get it out of there. Sites such as Facebook marketplace, Ebay, Craigslist, or NextDoor are easy and inexpensive to use to list your items. Decluttr is another option for old electronics, CDs, and DVD’s.
But don’t limit your thinking to only selling sweaters your Grandma gave you 10 years ago. Think about selling new items too. For instance, if you find a piece of local pottery while you were out and it’s market down to $5, could you buy it and resell it online for a higher price?
While this might not be a long-term solution, selling your items online provides a way to earn money quickly and keeps you more organized.
Create and sell on Etsy
Etsy is an online marketplace full of handmade, vintage, and creative items. Etsy also happens to have millions of visitors to its site, which means you can get in on the action. Many entrepreneurs create items and sell them exclusively on Etsy, which is like a digital online store.
Do you have a particular hobby or skill with creating handmade items? From woodworking and wreath making, to sewing and jewelry design, Etsy has a way for you to market your items.
What’s interesting about Etsy is that you don’t have to be a master needlepoint artist or painter to sell something. You can sell digital items too, such as:
- Birthday party kits
- Invitations and stationary
If your mind can create it, chances are you can sell it on Etsy.
If you’re interested in selling items but not sure Etsy or Ebay are the route you want to take, you can open your own e-commerce store.
Setting up an e-commerce store takes work and attention to detail, but there are four basic steps to getting one started:
- Pick a niche. What do you want to sell? Clothing, kids toys, gaming supplies, whatever it is, decide on what you want and how you can set yourself apart from other sites.
- Locate a supplier. Research supplier options for your product. This is important because you need to understand shipping times, warehousing, costs, and transportation.
- Choose a platform. Platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce are ideal for setting up an e-commerce site, even as a first-timer. The platforms can walk you through step-by-step to physically set up your site and store.
- Launch and manage your site. Once you launch your site, you have shipping fulfillments and customer service obligations to maintain. But moving product is exciting and potentially lucrative.
Perhaps selling a physical product with an e-commerce site doesn’t sound appealing, but you like the thought of selling some type of service. Setting up freelancing services is a great option to make money online.
Many businesses and entrepreneurs like to outsource their tasks so they can concentrate on other objectives. This means you can get paid for your skills that can benefit their business. You can offer freelance services for a number of jobs, such as:
- Writing articles and blog posts
- Graphic design
- Video editing
- Social media management
- Ad management (Facebook ads, Google, Pinterest, etc.)
To get started, look online for marketplaces such as UpWork or Fiverr. The gigs may not be high-paying at first, but as you build your portfolio you can command higher prices. You can also set up your own website and use it as your digital portfolio to attract new clients.
Create a blog
Blogging continues to be a popular communication tool, with over 31 million bloggers posting once per month in the United States alone. But even with these staggering numbers, it’s possible for you to create your own blog, carve out your own voice, and earn money online at the same time.
Once you set up your website, decide on your niche, and create content, then you can focus on earning money from your site.
The quickest way to earn money with a blog is to become an affiliate, where you post links from other businesses on your site. If someone makes a purchase through the link you provide, you get a small commission.
There are other avenues of making money, including selling ebooks and courses through your site, selling sponsorships, and partnering with other brands.
Bloggers, social media mavens, and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes use the help of virtual assistants all the time. This is a great online opportunity because you can literally assist anyone from around the world.
A virtual assistant is responsible for handling administrative tasks, and the range is extensive. Whether it’s scheduling someone’s calendar, handling customer service requests, or client outreach. You decide what you want to focus on, then you set your rates per hour to assist clients.
One key to becoming a successful virtual assistant is to focus on in-demand skills, such as bookkeeping or data entry. While this isn’t a requirement, it helps you stand out from other VAs.
You can find work as a VA by searching sites such as Indeed, Upwork, or even Facebook communities. Once you pick a niche for your skills, all you need is a computer to get started.
If you want help getting started as a VA, check out Gina Horkey’s course: Fully Booked VA.
Create online courses
If teaching is more your speed, then creating online courses is another option when you look at how to make money online. Creating a course is a particularly interesting prospect, because you put the work in up front, then you reap the benefits as your course sells.
You create a course teaching a specific skill, and people pay to listen to your insight. Courses range from learning how to use Microsoft Excel for work, to growing your own succulent garden. You don’t have to have a Ph.D., you simply need to inform people interested in your subject.
There are two popular approaches to creating online courses. The first route is if you already have a website, you can use an online course template. You then load your course on your site and set the price.
The other approach is to work through a platform that guides you through all the details of online course making and selling, such as through Teachable.
Once you create a course, there are other opportunities for up-sell, such as private access to a Facebook community or a subscription service. The online course is a unique way to build a community for your products.
Digital marketing agency
If you’re interested in creating an online business around marketing services, a digital marketing agency is an exciting opportunity worth pursuing. Digital marketers handle services for clients for all-things marketing related, such as paid advertising, pay-per-click advertising, branding, web-development, and media planning.
A digital marketing agency takes careful planning and commitment. The best way to start is to narrow down your niche. As you can imagine, digital marketing is a broad term, so it’s best to focus in on a few skills and build from there.
To attract clients, you have to create a website and build your social media presence. These two are a must, since you’ll be working with these products on a daily basis.
Networking is also essential when it comes to creating a digital marketing agency. But once you find a few clients, the potential for a digital marketing agency is limitless.
If you like the idea of connecting with an audience, creating a YouTube channel is a fun way to do so, and make money online.
Think of a YouTube channel as similar to blogging. You post content on a regular basis, except the content is a video and not your writing. And don’t worry — you don’t have to participate in life-threatening tricks to gain an audience. Your videos can focus on whatever topic you want, from life hacks to personal finance to raising kids.
The key to becoming a successful YouTuber is to grow your audience and your subscriber list. Of course you want to remain authentic and interesting. But once you gain an audience, you start earning money from ads. No hazardous antics required!
Rounding out our list of ways to make money online is running Facebook ads for clients. This is one of our favorite ways to earn money here at Laptop Empires, and there are many reasons this remains a great option.
Entrepreneurs and business owners are busy. They don’t always have time to focus on their marketing campaigns and budgets, but they know they need to be in front of people on social media. This is where a Facebook ad campaign manager steps in.
As an ad manager, you create Facebook ads that actually elicit a response from people. You manage the entire process, from creating the ad to managing the messaging. Clients benefit from seeing results quickly (if the ad is managed correctly), and you benefit because your clients see results.
But running Facebook ads involves more than stringing a few sentences together. There is a strategy behind successful campaigns. You can learn all the ins and outs and what it takes to manage a successful campaign with our Facebook Side Hustle course.
How to make money online — the final word
When it comes to figuring out how to make money online, narrowing down your options is one of the hardest aspects of getting started. But once you do figure out what direction you want to go in, an online business can be extremely fulfilling and lucrative. Don’t wait! There’s no reason to put off your online money-making dreams any longer.