17 Proven Ways to Make Money Online in 2017

When I tell people I make money online they tend to assume that I’m running some sort of Ponzi scheme. But I’ve never been a good enough liar to pull that off, so instead I blog. While I make pocket change compared to the biggest names out there, there are plenty of other people who have completely replaced their full-time jobs in favor of making a living online (and we’re talking


six-figure revenues

).

There are countless


legitimate

ways to make money from home in, but not all monetization tactics are created equally.

Learning how to make money online can be confusing and intimidating.


But it doesn’t need to be like that.

This post will show you


the absolute best ways to make money online in 2018.

Including details on how to get started with each of these methods, as well as their downsides and benefits (we didn’t include any scams or pyramid schemes in this post—I promise.)

If you’re interested in checking out a specific method, just click to jump to that section, or read the full post to make an informed decision before getting started.


19.

English Tutoring


18.

Airbnb


17.

Fiverr


16.

Foap


15.

Blog


14.

Ebook


13.


Course Marketplace


12.

Affiliates


11.

YouTube


10.

Search Engine Evaluation


9.


Domain Flipping


8.

Podcasting


7.


Virtual Assistant


6.

Brand Ambassador


5.

Crowdfunding


4.

Freelance Writing


3.

Online Store



2.

Freelance Design


1.

Selling Online Courses

Download the 2018 step-by-step guide to making money online when you have little time and money

Get this entire guide which includes all the methods, descriptions, actionable steps to get started, and an analysis of cost, time investment, and revenue potential.


How to make a living online

19. Become a virtual tutor

There is a high demand for people who can teach or tutor English as a second language over Skype. This option isn’t for everyone, though, because most programs require at least a Bachelor’s Degree, or in some cases English as as Second Language Accreditation.

If you’ve got either of those qualifications and a knack for teaching, being an English tutor might just be right for you.

How to get started:

  • Choose a program to apply to, a few options are:
    Q Kids

    TutorABC
    , or
    iTalki

  • Check through the requirements and make sure you qualify to teach English as a second language.

  • Go through the program’s training.

  • Begin taking students! Depending on the program you chose, you may be matched with students automatically, or they may choose you based on your profile.

If you don’t qualify for any of the official English as a Second Language programs, you can also make a profile on a site like Indeed or UpWork and hope to get hired through them, though it’s a lot more competitive.

How profitable is teaching ESL?

This one is really going to vary depending on the program you apply for. Some pay $.17 per minute, while others have set rates such as $25 for a 40 minute lesson. Generally, the more requirements to qualify for a program, the higher your rate is going to be.

18. Rent your extra space on Airbnb

There is

a lot

of money to be made on Airbnb if you live in a high-traffic city and have space to rent out.

This option, obviously, doesn’t take place entirely online, but you can get started from the comfort of your living room.

How to get started:

Once you’ve listed your space, it’s a waiting game. After a hosting a few guests, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea of whether or not Airbnb hosting is for you.

How profitable is Airbnb?

The profitability of Airbnb greatly depends on several variables: where are you located? How much space do you have to offer? What amenities are available to your guests? You can

use this calculator to estimate how much you can make

.

17. Make money with Fiverr

If you’ve been trying to build an online empire for anytime you’ve probably heard of


Fiverr

. And because you’ve heard of Fiverr you may have let out an audible groan when you saw it listed here.

Despite the criticism Fiverr receives, the site is a legitimate way to make money online, but it is in no way the best way. Fiverr’s entire premise is that you can sell ‘gig’s for $5 but for most people a few $5 gigs won’t pay the bills.

Especially because Fiverr takes 20%, so really you’re selling it for $4 (and that’s before PayPal takes their cut).

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t make good money on Fiverr. Because like any good rule,


there are exceptions


,

and some people

do

make thousands of dollars each month on Fiverr.

Your time and talents are worth more than what you can make on Fiverr. While you might be pulling in a few hundred dollars here and there on Fiverr, another platform (*cough* your own) could be making you even more.

How to get started:

  • Click the green “Start Selling” button on the upper right hand corner of the

    homepage

  • Enter your information to create an account

  • Pick which category you fit best into (writer, video editor, developer, designer, etc.)

  • Fill out your gig info and set a price

From there you can hope for the best or start marketing on social media and community marketing websites. If you’re lucky you’ll become a featured seller which will help drive sales.


If you’re interested in reading about Fiverr’s marketplace, Joseph Feliciano offers

an in-depth look


at how he got 88 orders in a month without promoting his gig.

How profitable is Fiverr?

Because there was no clear data on how much the average seller makes on Fiverr, it’s safe to assume that most users aren’t making significant income.

16. Make money selling pictures online

If you’re insta-obsessed (guilty) you might be able to pull in a few dolla dolla bills from the pictures you post.

Foap is an app where you can upload original photos and customers can buy them from there. Like Fiverr, you’re only making $5, but if you were going to take the picture anyhow there’s no harm in the extra few minutes it takes to upload to the app.

Besides selling your pictures online for $5, you can also enter ‘missions’ which are sponsored competitions searching for the best picture in a given category. These missions are more lucrative, oftentimes with cash prizes of several hundred dollars.

How to get started:

  • Download the app to your phone – available on iPhone and Android

  • Start uploading and categorizing your photos

  • Explore missions

  • Wait for purchases to roll in… hopefully

How profitable is Foap?

Like Fiverr, there is no data available on how much you can earn using Foap. Me? Because there isn’t a large community (yet!) Foap isn’t going to bring in consistent income, but if you’re lucky it might allow you to splurge on a latte or two.

15. Earn money online with a blog

With so many six figure bloggers out there, you might be surprised to see this ranking so low. But in two and a half years of blogging I’ve learned a hard lesson: Blogging doesn’t make you money.

Influence makes you money. A following makes you money. Running a blog is a means to gain that influence and following, but at the end of the day, the blog itself is not what is going to make you money.

Bloggers earn money online through advertising, partnerships, selling their own products and affiliate income, all of which are means listed elsewhere on this list.

Monetize your blog with advertising

On most blogs you might see a snazzy ad or two in the sidebar or within the posts. These aren’t there to annoy you, rather they are raking in the dolla dolla bills for the website owner.

Well, kind of.

A lot of bloggers have a problem with sidebar advertisements because they really don’t generate much income. Even with 50,000 monthly page views you will be lucky to pull in $200.

Monetize your blog with partnerships

Brand partnerships are one of the most popular options for bloggers who are just getting started with monetization. These partnerships are most popularly referred to as ‘sponsored posts.’

Bloggers charge anywhere from several hundred dollars up to several thousand per sponsored post.

Monetize your blog by selling your own product

This is the most successful way to make money as a blogger. Many bloggers will focus on consistently putting out great content and building an audience for several months and then creating and selling their own product to that audience.

Bloggers like

Melyssa Griffin

and

Mariah Coz

have sold six-figure courses on

Teachable

, harnessing the momentum they’ve built with their blogs.

While this money isn’t

truly

made through their blog, most bloggers consider this ‘blog income’ because their blog audience served as customers.

I’ll be going more into selling your own product a little further down the post.

How to get started:

How profitable is blogging:

Bloggers can expect to make 1% of their average page views.

If a Blogger gets 50,000 views a month, they’ll make around $500.

At the $500 mark, we can consider that you’re already starting to make “good” money online (if you’re just doing it part time.)

Let’s move on to the other more profitable ways to make a living from the comfort of your home.

Get the resources and tracking you need to effectively make money with your blog

A full list of resources plus a tracking guide to help you monetize your blog.


Get the cheatsheet

14. Earn money creating and selling ebooks

Ebooks definitely had their time in the sun and it seems like everyone and their brother (my brother included) is writing one despite the fact that they aren’t the most profitable online medium anymore.

Ebooks take a lot of time, research and energy to write, whereas you can’t sell them for very much. If your end goal is to be a published author then online self-publishing is a wonderful way to make that happen, but if you’re hoping to be profitable, ebooks aren’t always the best bet.

That’s not to say that there are no successful ebook sellers because there definitely are, but in a saturated market of online authors it’s hard to stand out.

How to get started:

  • Outline/write/edit/revise/perfect your ebook

  • Consider paying a professional to create a cover for your book

  • Choose a

    self-publishing platform

  • Upload your ebook to marketplaces or sell from your own website

How profitable is selling ebooks:

While

half of self-published authors make less than $500

, we are going to put you in the more profitable half and say

you’ll be able to earn at least $10k a year

, or just over $800 a month.

13. Earn money online with a course marketplace

If you’ve got a lot to teach but haven’t established an audience (and have no desire to) then a course marketplace might be for you.

With a course marketplace, you create the online course and they take it from there. You have control of your content, but nothing else.

This lack of control has driven a lot of former marketplace users to course creation platforms like Teachable.

One such example is when Udemy put a cap of $50 on their courses and nearly 1000 of their instructors migrated to Teachable so they could have complete control over their course.

How to get started:

  • Create your online course content – this can be video, text, audio, downloadable assets, or anything else you come up with, the

    Teachable Blog

    has a ton of course creation tips

  • Upload your course to

    your marketplace of choice

  • Let the marketplace promote for you or go the extra mile and promote to your list and social media accounts

How profitable is selling on a marketplace:

A

Udemy cofounder

claimed that ¼ of creators on Udemy make at least 10k a year, or $833 a month.

12. Earn money online with affiliate marketing

If there is a store or product that you love so much that you’re constantly recommending it to your friends and family, you might want to consider becoming an affiliate.

People earn affiliate income by partnering with a brand or company and earning a commission of every sale that they drive. There are thousands of affiliate programs online – apparel stores,

Amazon

, tech companies and more.

Most people pull in a few hundred dollars a month with affiliate selling, though there are some outliers who have created entire businesses from it. If you join enough programs and are strategic in implementing them, you may be able to pull in $80k in 5 years like

Hash Agrawal

did.

When looking into affiliate programs be careful to do research on how you’re getting paid. A lot of programs pay you in gift cards or store credit – and while that’s great – internet points don’t pay the bills!

How to get started:

  • If you’re looking to become an affiliate for your favorite company there are a few ways to find out if they have an affiliate program. Your first option is to Google “*company name* affiliate”

  • If that doesn’t pan out, most companies that have affiliate programs will have them listed sneakily on the verrrrrryy bottom of their website

  • Once you are accepted into an affiliate program figure out how you want to promote (blog posts, social media, business cards, etc)

How profitable is becoming an affiliate partner:

There is no clear data on the average income you can make as an affiliate. Instead (very scientifically) I went to five blogs that share income reports and averaged their affiliate income to arrive at $987 a month.

11. Earn money online with YouTube

Ah,

YouTube

stardom. Growing up watching iCarly on Nickelodeon and YouTubers like Fred I was sure that online video stardom would be my scapegoat from ever having to work an adult job.

Fast forward to now and I’m pulling in a humble $5 a month through YouTube.

Ouch.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other online personalities finding success on the platform.

SocialBlade

estimates that some YouTube stars like

Miranda Sings

are pulling in up to two million dollars a year.

Needless to say, she’s an outlier, but with figures like that chasing YouTube stardom sounds pretty darn appealing.

For every YouTuber making a full-time living through YouTube, there are thousands of YouTubers chugging away making pennies a month. Those people might rise to YouTube stardom, but the rise tends to be a slow one.

A lot of YouTubers also monetize their success by branching out from YouTube. Angela Fehr, for example, is a talented watercolor artist on YouTube and has since created an online academy teaching watercolor on

Teachable.

How to get started:

  • If you have a Google account you can

    set up a YouTube account

    with just a few clicks

  • Establish a niche for your channel - you can do comedy, music, tech tutorials or anything in between

  • Go into your settings and

    turn monetization on

  • Establish an upload schedule and be consistent

  • As your subscriber count grows consider reaching out to brands for paid collaborations

How profitable is being a YouTuber:

The average YouTuber

earns just $15/month

. But, let’s say you’re above average and have 100 videos each getting 5000 views a month

you might earn up to $1000.

At this point and with the methods mentioned below, you start to consider the posibility of making a living from the cash you earn online.

Teachable’s Massive Course Creation Resource Bundle

This is the most complete free bundle of resources to help you create an online course. Download this and get 167 files to help find your profitable idea, set your pricing, track engagement, and much more.


I want this massive bundle now!

10. Earn money as a search engine evaluator

With over

three and a half


billion


daily Google searches

it’s fair to assume that a few bugs might pop up from time to time. To stay on top of these bugs, Google hires independent contractors to work as search engine evaluators.

Steve Gillman


described being a search engine evaluator as a great learning experience

– he makes several hundred dollars a month googling search terms and rating them on “quality, relevancy and usefulness.”

How to get started:

  • Sign up with a site like


    Leapforce

  • Take the entrance exam (it’s said to be easy)

  • You will have several hours of unpaid training before you can get started

How profitable is being a Search Engine Evaluator?

It looks like the average pay for


search engine evaluation is $12/hour

but the hours are unpredictable at best. You can expect to make $1000 each month give or take.

9. Make money online selling domains

People don’t always think of domain flipping as a reputable way of earning money online, but domain powerhouses like GoDaddy beg to differ.

The idea behind this is you buy a domain name that you think someone will want to use in the future. If you’re lucky you’ll be right and you’ll get an offer from someone looking to own that domain sometime down the road.

You can also buy domain names similar to domains that are already popular and reach out to the owners of those sites and see if they’re interested in buying.

Domain flipping is a long-term commitment and not something that you will see any sort of profit off of right off the bat.

How to get started:

  • Decide a niche you want to focus on and start researching keywords

  • Buy domain names that fit in your niche

  • Research how much you can sell your domain for on

    Namebio

  • Wait for people to reach out or be proactive and reach out to potential buyers yourself

How profitable is domain flipping?

While there have been

domains sold for millions of dollars

, a more common price point is several hundred to a thousand dollars. Assuming someone can sell two domains a month we will estimate their monthly income at $1000.

Want to save this entire guide for later?

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How to make a living online

8. Earn money podcasting

Not too long ago I had to explain what a podcast was to my grandma and as she so eloquently put it, “… so a podcast is talk radio for kids?”

And by kids, she means anyone under the age of 50.

She had basically the right idea – a podcast is an audio show that will feature at least one host and oftentimes high profile guests.

There are wildly popular podcasts covering virtually every niche possible. Like blogs, podcasts aren’t profitable in themselves but once your audience grows you can monetize your following through ads which you can sell in fifteen second blocks.

How to get started:

How profitable is podcasting:

Again, statistics are hard to find. But

School of Podcasting

reports his numbers at around $1600 and I’ve found that number to be consistent amongst mid-tier podcasters.

7. Earn money as a virtual assistant

If you’ve been playing in the online business game for any amount of time you’ve probably heard the pros preaching outsourcing and delegating tasks to a virtual assistant time and time again.

Virtual assistants take care of any aspect of business that can be done virtually. This might mean scheduling tweets, designing blog graphics, managing an inbox, or researching for blog posts. Or something else entirely.

Really, the sky is the limit with what a virtual assistant can do.

How to get started:

  • Join

    Facebook groups

    geared towards virtual assistants

  • Decide which services you’ll offer and research pricing

  • Set up a VA site or look on Facebook groups for people searching for virtual assistants

How profitable is becoming a virtual assistant:

On average

virtual assistants earn $22,000 a year

or just over $1800 a month.

6. Earn money as a brand ambassador

If you have a large blog or social media following you might be able to snag a deal as a brand ambassador. Brand ambassadors are usually given free product to model and show off on their platforms and an affiliate code to track sales.

A lot of brand ambassadorships also have perks and contests where you can win more free product, cash, or even trips.

There are some companies, though, that do accept applications on a rolling basis. For those you can search: “*company name* brand ambassadorship” and if they have a program you should be able to apply from there.

How to get started:

  • Find companies that are taking ambassadors and start engaging with them on social media

  • See if your ideal companies accept applications and apply (Many companies handpick their ambassadors rather than using open applications – this is why it’s important to get on their radar with step one)

  • After you’re selected be active in promoting the brand and driving sales

How profitable is being a brand ambassador:

According to

Simply Hired

, the average brand ambassador will make $24,000 a year or $2,000 a month.

*Note: A lot of affiliate programs tend to advertise themselves as an ambassadorship, but in a true ambassadorship you’ll be provided free product to promote.

5. Earn money crowdfunding

So this option is a bit different – people tend to use crowdfunding for one of two reasons:

  1. To raise money for a good cause

  2. To fund a project

So if your “project” is quitting your job and relaxing – you might not have much luck. But if you’re crowdfunding to quit your job and work on creating technology that will benefit your investors you might have a better chance of success.


Yancey Strickler

, the founder of Kickstarter, advises “Most ideas in the world are funded because they have the ability to make someone else money.”

With that in mind present your crowdfunding idea in that light. Rather than say, “I’m making this product that does x, y and z.” say, “I’m making this product that does x, y and z to make life easier for you.”

People are benefit driven so you need to show them what they will get from funding you.

How to get started:

  • Come up with your crowdfunding idea

  • Choose a

    crowdfunding platform

    (IndieGoGo, Crowdrise, Go Fund Me, etc.)

  • Get your page set up with benefit driven language

  • Start promoting on social media

How profitable is crowdfunding?

According to


Fundable

, the average successful campaign will last 9 weeks and bring in around $7,000. Break that down and you’re making about $3,500/month (though you probably won’t be running back to back campaigns every other month).

Download the Profitable Course Idea Workbook

In the Profitable Course Idea Workbook you’ll find out which of your passions will be the most impactful, start thinking about who your audience is, find their pain points and brainstorm how you can solve them.


Yes! I want my workbook

4. Earn money freelance writing

If you have a way with words and a wallet crying out for some extra cash you might want to consider becoming a freelance writer.

Freelancing is a great way to use your talents to earn money online. We recently interviewed

Aja Frost

in Make Change Weekly. She’s a 21 year old who paid for school through freelancing, and she is just one of many freelancers making a full-time income.

There are a lot of ways you can get started freelancing – whether you reach out to publications directly or build a portfolio and wait for customers to come to you.

Either way, the more proactive you are the more successful you might be.

Sites like

Freelance to Freedom

offer great advice and community for freelancers.

How to get started:

  • Build a portfolio

    of sample writing to showcase your work

  • Submit to sites to get your name out there

  • Consider setting up a website to act as a landing page

    make money online, get paid to write online

How profitable is Freelance Writing:


The average freelancer makes $42,000

a year, or $3500 a month.

3. Earn money with an online store

Real talk:


Etsy

is my favorite website ever. I find myself spending hours browsing and oftentimes spending more than I budgeted for on decor that I really didn’t need.

What I’m trying to say is that Etsy shops have a way of turning frugal twenty-year-olds into buying fiends and that is something you should take advantage of.

There are listings for

anything

you can imagine on Etsy – from apparel and accessories to groomsmen gifts and voodoo dolls.

Everything.

So if you’re particularly crafty or have an awesome digital product worth selling then hop on the Etsy train, y’all!

And if Etsy’s not your speed Shopify is another solid option.

Unlike Etsy, Shopify isn’t a marketplace. What this means is you are in total control. You set up your store, customize it, organize it and advertise it.

Shopify is a great platform for earning money online if you have a vision and need complete control to execute it, while if you’re just looking to set up a sales page and not worry about it again – you might be better off on Etsy.

Etsy Shop:

Pick Some Colors

by Tiffany Fields

How to get started:

  • Decide what it is that you’re going to sell – this can be a physical or digital product

  • Choose a

    selling platform

    based on your needs

  • Upload your products/services and set a price

  • Advertise your page on a blog or social media sites

How profitable is selling on Etsy:

According to


Slate

the average income of profitable Etsy sellers is $44,900 which comes out to be a bit over $3700 a month.

2. Earn money creating as a freelance designer

Just like with freelance writing, you can also become a freelance designer. The process is largely the same – build a portfolio, gain testimonials and the money should start rolling in.

What you will be designing can range from webpages to infographics to Pinterest images and anything else imaginable.

You can niche down and specifically be an infographic freelancer, or you can keep your horizons broad – that’s the beauty of working for yourself.

How to get started:

  • Build a portfolio

    showcasing your work

  • Advertise your services on social media

  • Set up a website to act as a landing page

How profitable is freelance designing:


The average income for freelance designers is $60,000

a year or $5,000 a month.

1. Earn money selling online courses

Selling online courses is the best way to make money online in 2018. I can sing praises for online courses for as long as you’re willing to listen, but for now, I’ll just say this:

Online courses are a great way to earn money online because they allow you to monetize your skills, you create a course once and can sell it for years and they establish you as an authority and it’s a lot easier than you think!

How profitable is selling online courses?

Our average instructor earns $5,426 with each online course making courses the most profitable means of earning money online.

It’s no surprise


online


courses are the next big thing when it comes to working from home by making money online.

Here’s the deal. The EdTech industry is booming. Valued as a 107 billion dollar industry (according to

Forbes

), the early-adopters are looking at courses and thinking:


I. want. that.

It’s why our customers, who are just normal people, have made upwards of six figures in just a month while launching their courses. It’s why the best content marketers (like Seth Godin, Marie Forleo, Noah Kagan) are selling courses. It’s why there was $2.51 billion invested in educational-technology companies during the first half of

   

A quick note about the reviews on this site: I am an affiliate for every product I review. The vendors of these products give me them without charge in order for me to test them. However all my reviews are done as honestly as possible and I make no promises to the vendor prior to writing my review. Should you click a link on this site that takes you to a paid product this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to purchase that product.
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