4 min

20 Ideas on How to Make Money Online

Feb 14, 2023
in a nutshell
  • You don't need to have advanced programming skills to earn money online.
  • No matter your skill set, you can make money by selling crafts, providing help to busy executives, hosting podcasts, and more.
  • Acorns Earn is an easy way to earn investments while you shop online.
Image of These top 20 ideas can help you get started if you’re trying to figure out how to make money online.
in a nutshell
  • You don't need to have advanced programming skills to earn money online.
  • No matter your skill set, you can make money by selling crafts, providing help to busy executives, hosting podcasts, and more.
  • Acorns Earn is an easy way to earn investments while you shop online.

Gone are the days where the only way to make money was to find a part-time job at the mall or a local business. With the internet, there are now endless opportunities to make money online.

How to make money online

Whether you have expertise in a niche area or want to try something new, there are plenty of ways to make money online. Here are 19 of the top ways to earn extra cash online: 

1. Complete graphic design projects

If you're skilled with Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, or other graphic design platforms, you can make good money completing graphic design projects for individuals and businesses. According to Upwork, a platform that connects graphic designers and people hiring workers for projects, graphic designers can make $40 to $75 per hour. 

2. Dropship

Dropshipping is a business model in which e-commerce entrepreneurs — like you! — sell products without having to carry any inventory. When a store owner receives an order from a customer, they simply contact the supplier, who will then ship the products directly to the customer's door. Dropshipping is a great way to start an online business with little up-front investment. 

3. Referral programs

Inviting friends and family members to sign up for a service or product you use can be an easy way to earn a referral bonus. For example, every friend you invite to Acorns who signs up and makes their first investment can mean a $5 referral bonus that gets invested in your Acorns Invest portfolio. There’s no limit to how many friends you can invite, and best of all, your friends also get a $5 bonus investment, too. Plus, Acorns’ Limited Time Promo Referrals gives you a chance to earn even bigger bonus investment rewards up to $1,200. Learn more about Acorns referrals here. Terms & conditions apply.

4. Write eBooks

Whether you have a fantastic idea for a novel or want to share your expertise in a particular subject, writing an eBook can be a great way to make money online. You can create an eBook on just about any topic, and there are many platforms where you can sell your eBook, such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. 

While writing, publishing, and marketing a book can be a lot of work, a single book can continue to sell for years, so a successful one could become a passive income source.

5. Teach online courses

Another side gig that could be lucrative is creating and selling online courses. Platforms like Teachable and Udemy allow instructors to create and sell courses on anything from how to play the guitar to cooking Thai food. If you have teaching experience or expertise in a particular subject, it could be easier to create an online course and make passive income from students taking the class. 

6. Sell crafts

If you like to create digital products, such as printable planner inserts, or physical crafts, you can earn extra money by selling them online via Etsy

7. Write

Freelance writing and editing can be an excellent side gig, and the average pay is over $20 per hour. As a writer, you can produce articles, write emails, or edit existing content for small businesses and entrepreneurs. When you're first starting out, you can find freelance opportunities on UpWork and Freelancer.com.

8. Become a virtual assistant

A virtual assistant helps entrepreneurs and business owners with routine tasks, such as scheduling appointments, monitoring email inboxes, or posting on social media. You can find available opportunities on oDesk, FlexJobs, and Indeed

9. Resell items

Chances are, you have some items around your house you no longer need or use. These items could be clothes, furniture, electronics, or even gift cards to restaurants you don't like. You can turn those items into cash by selling them on platforms like Poshmark, Gazelle, Mercari, eBay, or Raise

10. Tutor

Whether you're a whiz at standardized tests or an expert in Victorian literature, you can get paid to help students learn. You can find opportunities to tutor students in-person or online on platforms like Tutor Me, Chegg, and Wyzant

11. Provide customer service

Many companies are turning to remote, freelance customer support options. While some require you to answer calls, others pay customer service representatives to answer inquiries via email or chat. You can find customer service opportunities on LiveOps and Remote.co

12. Launch a YouTube channel

If you have a passion or special area of expertise you’d like to share with the world, launching a YouTube channel could be for you. YouTube creators can earn money through advertisements, partnering with brands or selling products.

13. Perform search engine evaluation

Companies hire search engine evaluators to improve their search results. Search engine evaluators help companies ensure that their search engines are delivering the most relevant results to users. Search engine side gigs can be found through TELUS and Amazon Mechanical Turk, and pay ranges from a few cents per task to a few dollars.

14. Act as a community manager

Social media is a major driver for businesses, and they often manage large communities on platforms like Facebook or Discord. A lucrative side gig can be serving as a paid social media or Discord community manager. You can find opportunities on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, where social media managers make $14 to $35 per hour. 

15. Translate

If you’re fluent in another language, you can put your skills to use by becoming a translator. Opportunities range from translating subtitles for videos to transcribing conversations in another language. You can find translation opportunities on Rev and Unbabel

16. Start a blog

If you’re passionate about a particular topic, starting a blog is a great way to share your knowledge and build an audience. Bloggers can make money online through advertisements, sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and selling products. You can get started by using a platform like WordPress

17. Host a podcast

From true crime to business tips, there’s a podcast for everyone. If you have an idea for a show, you can earn money by becoming a podcaster. You can find opportunities to host a show on platforms like Podbean and Buzzsprout. Your earnings are dependent on the podcast topic and audience. 

18. Complete surveys

While you won’t get rich by completing surveys online, you can earn a little extra spending money in your spare time. With platforms like Survey Junkie, you can earn rewards that can be redeemed for gift cards or PayPal deposits. According to the company, completing three basic surveys a day will earn you about $40 per month.

19. Create print-on-demand products

Print-on-demand products allow you to design and sell clever t-shirts, mugs, leggings, bags, hats and more. However, you don’t have to store inventory or handle product shipping — you only create and advertise the products. The print-on-demand company you choose will produce the items you sell and ship them for you. 

Popular print-on-demand services include Printful and Printify

20. Earn investments while you shop

With Acorns Earn, you can earn money while you do your normal shopping. When you make a purchase through a participating retailer, you can earn a bonus investment. You can automatically earn bonus investments on purchases made through your smartphone or desktop — all you need to do is install the Acorns extension on Chrome or Safari.

To get started, open an Acorns account and start shopping!

Contributors are not affiliated with Acorns Advisers, LLC. and do not provide investment advice to Acorns’ clients.

Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.  Please consider, among other important factors, your investment objectives, risk tolerance and Acorns’ pricing before investing.  Investment advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (Acorns), an SEC-registered investment advisor. Brokerage services are provided to clients of Acorns by Acorns Securities, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.

Use of Acorns Earn requires an Acorns account.  Acorns subscribers shop with our partners and earn bonus investments into your Acorns Invest portfolios when purchasing items from the partner brands.  Acorns Earn rewards investments are made by Acorns Grow, Incorporated into your Acorns Invest account through a partnership Acorns Grow maintains with each Acorns Earn partner.

Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a freelance writer and certified financial and student loan counselor. 

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