About 15 years ago, I received my first payment for affiliate sales through my website. This was the start of a long internet career in which I explored dozens of ways to make money on the internet.
You should not not be fooled by pyramid schemes and other “Get Rich Quick” campaigns, however I truly believe anyone can make money from the internet if they are willing to put in the work.
Whether you are looking to make a little extra cash on the side or establish a long-term online career, there are many different ways for you to profit from your skills and hard work ethic.
📚 In this article, I would love to share with you my Top 25 different ways to make money online 2021.
- 1 – Monetize Your Social Media Presence
- 2- Do Micro Jobs
- 3 – Complete Online Surveys
- 4 – Test Websites and Apps for Others
- 5 – Launch a Blog
- 6 – Build an Affiliate Website (E.g. Amazon)
- 7 – Launch an Online Shop
- 8 – Sell Products on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, & More
- 9 – Create a Job Board
- 10 – Create a Discussion Forum
1. Monetize Your Social Media Presence
Social media has definitely revolutionising the way that we communicate on the internet and given everyone a platform to voice their opinion.
If you are active on a platform such as Instagram or Twitter, Facebook or Youtube you may want to consider monetizing your social media presence online.
One awesome way to do this is to promote products and services of other companies. Sponsored messages are common on social media and are usually tagged with #sponsored and #ad so that advertisements can be identified.
Advertisers are always looking for engagements with your followers, therefore you need to ensure sponsored products are relevant and be creative with how you promote the company. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your subscribers.
Influencer marketplaces such as Aspire IQ and Upfluence are a great starting point to find sponsorships as they give you access to thousands of potential companies, but you should also look into working with companies directly.
Alternatively, you can use your social media presence as a springboard to launch your own products. For example, if you post about fitness a lot, you could sell fitness related products such as t-shirts, protein bars and water bottles. Others choose to use social media to promote online courses and their latest blog posts.
Whether you sell advertisements on your social media accounts directly, or use it use it as a platform to promote your other interests, the goal is to keep your followers entertained whilst still making money.
2. Do Micro Jobs
Want to make money from your skills? Of course you do!
A common way to start making money online is to sell your services on a micro job marketplace such as Fiverr. The marketplace allows anyone to sell digital services across a number of different categories such as graphics and design, writing, videos, music, business, lifestyle and more.
Micro job marketplaces evolved from regular freelancer marketplaces that businesses use. The lines between both platforms has blurred a little over the years as companies adapt to an ever-changing landscape, but generally speaking, the jobs on websites such as Fiverr are small tasks that are quick to complete.
For example, you could offer to write a blog post, design a logo, write messages for a company’s social media campaign or produce a short video for YouTube.
The general idea is that you make money from many small jobs rather than one large job.
Be aware, however, that micro job websites such as Fiverr can be extremely competitive. Therefore, in the beginning, you may have to reduce your rates until you establish yourself as a reliable freelancer.
3. Complete Online Surveys
You are not going to make a career out of it, but if you are just looking for a little extra cash on the side, you may want to consider doing online surveys through companies such as Swagbucks, OnePoll, and Toluna.
These companies reward consumers for giving vital customer insights into brands, products and services. Some companies do pay cash, but it is more common to be sent gift cards and free products for testing.
Many online polling services offer rewards for performing other tasks too. For example, you may be asked to download an iOS app or Android app and give feedback.
If you don’t mind another company tracking your online habits, you can also earn cash using a predefined search engines.
4. Test Websites and Apps for Others
Another way you can provide insights to companies is to test the user experience of websites and apps.
As a tester, you will typically be required to download a testing application to your computer, tablet or smartphone. You will then be asked to perform a series of tasks, with most tests taking 10 to 20 minutes to complete.
For example, you may be asked to find a product in an online store and go through the checkout process.
Don’t worry, you are not expected to buy anything. You are simply testing websites and applications so that the developers can fix usability issues and improve the user experience for customers.
The amount of money you can make from testing varies from service to service.
Testing websites and apps is not going to make you a millionaire, but it is a simple way to make a little extra cash on the side.
5. Launch a Blog
Online surveys and testing can give you a taste of what it is like to make money on the internet, however if you are looking for a long-term return, you should look towards creating a stable business.
One type of business I recommend exploring is blogging. Unlike some other types of websites, you do not need to have any technical experience to start a blog. You just need to be passionate about something.
Blogs can be monetized in several different ways.
If you have established a readership, you can sell banner spaces and ad slots to companies, however I have personally found affiliate marketing to be more profitable. You just have to select good products that pay a fair commission and create quality content around it.
A blog is also the perfect platform to launch your very own products. Whether it be eBooks, a private membership area, t-shirts, or whatever, you can use a blog to create sustainable long-term income and promote all of your online projects.
6. Build an Affiliate Website (E.g. Amazon)
The principles of creating a successful blog can be used to build a profitable affiliate website. This includes creating engaging content, marketing your website and adhering to search engine ranking guidelines.
In contrast to blogs, with an affiliate website you are gearing everything towards specific products. This is why most affiliate websites contain product reviews.
People who are searching for a review of a particular product are more likely to purchase it after reading an informative review, therefore the odds of making a referral commission are greatly increased.
Whilst it does help to know a product firsthand, you can write good product reviews by either hiring others to write for you or summarizing what others have wrote.
There are millions of products being sold online so the opportunities to make money from an affiliate website are limitless.
Companies list partnership opportunities for their products on affiliate networks or through their own in-house affiliate program.
Hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs are available online, but a good starting point is the Amazon Associates Program. Whilst Amazon’s commission rate is low compared to other affiliate programs, their store tend to convert better due to brand loyalty.
Without doubt, affiliate websites are one of the most effective ways of making money online.
7. Launch an Online Shop
According to Digital Commerce 360, eCommerce spending was around $3.5 trillion in 2019 and is expected to grow further in the next few years.
It is a massive market and one which you should consider tapping into.
As you would expect, building a successful online shop requires a lot of hard work, therefore it may be several months before you start making a healthy monthly profit.
Prepare yourself by looking at how others have built successful shops and research what products to sell, who your competitors are and who your target audience is.
There are many great eCommerce shopping platforms available, but two I recommend looking further into are Shopify and WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that has grown to become the most popular eCommerce solution online. The plugin is free to download, however you will have to host your online store and possibly purchase additional plugins to extend functionality.
Like Shopify, there are a huge variety of WooCommerce themes on the market to help you market your products effectively.
Check out our Shopify vs. WordPress article to see which platform is right for you.
8. Sell Products on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, & More
When you launch an online shop, you have to spend time administrating the store, however in order to find customers, you also have to market your store and its products.
This can be difficult unless you have a large budget for an advertising campaign or a platform to promote your products such as a blog or a social media account with a loyal following.
Shopping marketplaces and auction websites are competitive, however there are few barriers to get started.
On a website such as eBay, you can get going by selling old things around the house that you do not need. Alternatively, you can search your local area for products that are on sale and then sell them nationwide at a higher price.
More established sellers tend to use dropshipping. There are thousands of sellers on Alibaba that help you do this. Once someone purchases something from you, you buy the product from China and ship it to them. The customer will never know that you did not ship it directly as your branding and marketing material can be included with the package.
To reduce delivery times, many sellers choose to buy items in bulk and send it directly to Amazon’s warehouses using the Amazon FBA program. It’s an attractive setup as you can build up a large successful store on Amazon without ever having to store the items yourself.
9. Create a Job Board
What’s the best type of website to build to make money online?
If you had to ask an experienced internet marketer this question, my guess is that “Job Board” would be bottom of the list, yet there is a lot of money to be made with job boards.
The most difficult part of launching a job board is attracting companies to post jobs and then establishing an audience. In the beginning, you may want to duplicate job listings from other websites. After all, no one is going to visit a job board that has no job listings.
Job boards are an attractive long-term project as once the job website is established, it requires very little maintenance to keep it running and earning money.
There are many job board products available online, such as Smart Job Board and JobBoard.io, that help you launch your own job board website. A number of job board WordPress plugins are also available.
10. Create a Discussion Forum
Up until the mid to late 2000s, discussion forums were one of the most common places for internet users to hang out and communicate with each other. I launched my first discussion forum in 2000 and launched a dozen more over the years.
Forums are less common today due to the popularity of social media, yet they can still be hugely profitable.
Many large discussion forums continue to be monetized by banner ads and sponsored ads from partners, but over the last 10 years we have also seen more private discussion forums arrive. Private discussion forums charge members a monthly or yearly fee to gain access to the forum.
Obviously, you cannot just install forum software and expect money to start rolling in. You need entice people to sign up to your private discussion forum by offering something they cannot find elsewhere. This could be an extensive online course or simply direct access to yourself or others who can provide support.
For some forum discussion owners, the best solution is a mixture of free and premium access. By keeping registration free, they can increase the number of people who join the community. Members can then unlock additional features and permissions if they pay for a premium membership.
There are dozens of great forum applications available online.