Updated: January 23, 2020
How do people make money online? Today, we’ll explore the many ways that everyone’s doing to earn from the internet. From the most popular, to the less known methods. The simple and easy, and the complicated and difficult stuff.
From the insanely profitable, to the ones that give only dimes and pennies. The legal ones, and yes, even those that might get you in trouble with the law.
This list tries to be as complete as possible, so that anyone who would like to make money online can just read through and choose what they believe is right for them.
Sell tangible products
The most popular way to make money online, and can be done in endless ways.
You can sell directly through your own website, through your social networks, and even through forums and MMORPGs (I once bought a shirt from someone whose selling it inside Ragnarok).
You can sell it indirectly via classified advertisements website such as eBay and Craigslist, e-commerce platforms like Etsy and CafePress, or create your own website and build a Drop Shipping business
Moreover, you actually don’t have to make the stuff you’re selling. You can buy and then sell things, or skip buying and sell items under consignment, or be a sales agent and earn from commissions.
Sell digital products
Using the same channels to sell tangible products, many are also earning money from selling digital products such as ebooks, software, photos, music, videos, virtual currencies and even websites!
The most popular ebook store is the Amazon Kindle Store and a lot of authors are making good money there. Software developers can sell via CNET apart from distributing them directly.
There are also a lot of websites where you can sell your photos. Meanwhile, music and podcasts can be sold via iTunes and Spotify among others. And if you’re a movie or video producer, you can distribute them via Vimeo or YouTube.
Furthermore, those who are into buying and selling domain names and websites can check out Flippa.com
And if we are to include the mobile market, then selling apps is another way to make money online. App developers earn from paid downloads, in-app purchases and/or in-app advertisements.
Again, you don’t have to be the creator of these stuff to sell them. You can apply to become an affiliate and sell the items for commission.
There are special marketplaces such as Clickbank.com, which help people make money from selling other people’s digital products
As a skilled freelancer
If you have a skill or talent that other people will find useful, then you can sell your services through freelancing sites such as Upwork. A lot of people I know are working full-time and earning through these websites.
Of course, special mention goes to 199Jobs.com, a startup I co-founded which is now helping a lot of home-based Filipinos make money online. In fact, the average revenue of our freelancers is currently around P3,000 per month.
The most profitable online jobs are article writing and translation, graphic design, digital marketing, virtual assistance and programming. If you are good at any of these skills, then your potential to earn online through freelancing is high.
As a content producer
Blogging is the best example of becoming a content producer. You can use free platforms such as Blogger or create a self-hosted blog and make money from advertisers.
Websites such as YouTube, also help people make money from ads shown on their videos. While revenue sharing websites such as HubPages and Squidoo provide writers a platform to make money from their how-to articles.
Lastly, if you’re a digital influencer – meaning you have a lot of followers on Twitter, or you own a Facebook Page with thousands of fans, or you manage a large community in any other popular social network, then you can make money through sponsorships and partnerships with brands.
As an online worker
Sometimes, you don’t really need hard skills to make money online. There are websites out there that can pay you to answer questions, fill out surveys, give your opinion, shop online, or even read emails.
Unfortunately, none of these companies ever become big enough for me to trust them that’s why I’m not mentioning any specific websites. I’m sure there are good ones out there but always be careful.
Before dealing with any company that promises to pay you to do these simple tasks, always consider these three things.
First, it should be free to join. Second, the support channel should be responsive. And third, there are no scam reports online about them from reputable sources.
Create a Website
That help people do stuff
A lot of people do a lot of things online. Help them do those tasks and the opportunity to earn will come.
Create an online marketplace and provide a people a place to sell products and services, put up a forum or start your own social network and connect people.
Pinoy Examples: Sulit.ph and PinoyExchange.com
That help people stay informed
News websites are no longer the domain of big media companies. A lot of them are now run by independent organizations whose purpose is to bring relevant, exclusive and up-to-date information to netizens around the world.
Later on, your website can become a media company itself.
Pinoy Examples: WhenInManila.com and Rappler.com
That help people learn
Education is no longer confined inside a physical classroom. A lot of websites now provide learning opportunities on the internet and make money through paid webinars, course downloads, online consultations and membership subscriptions.
This is actually what I’m currently working on with my Events website.
Pinoy Examples: DigitalFilipino.com and ILuvLearning.com
That help people pass time
One of the top reasons why people go online is to pass time. So why not create a website that will keep them entertained for hours.
More than just giving jokes or funny stories and photos, you can provide amusing and interesting articles, information and trivia.
Pinoy Examples: 8List.ph and FilipiKnow.net
That help people do something they thought they can’t do online
This is the realm of tech startups. Most of the online services we now use usually began as an idea inside someone’s head and a beta website.
You can earn eventually through donations, get venture capital funding and grow it into a full-blown business, or be acquired by a big company later on.
Pinoy Examples: TheSparkProject.com
Trading financial markets
Stocks and currencies are the most traded items in the financial market and a lot of the transactions are happening online.
The biggest is the forex market with an average daily volume of $5 trillion, and this doesn’t yet include the trading volumes for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – that’s why online forex trading is very popular.
Sales and lead generation for offline industries
Digital marketing is both cost-effective and efficient, especially for reaching your target market. That’s why it’s no surprise that real estate agents, multi-level marketing people and many other “offline” industries are using it to generate sales leads.
The illegal stuff that you should NOT do
Selling stolen items; committing identity theft; music, video and software piracy; perpetrating sales and investment scams; creating malware; electronic vandalism and extortion; credit card fraud; money laundering; and many others that you should not bother knowing.
Did I Forget Anything?
I hope you enjoyed this list of ways of how to make money online. If you too, would like to earn from the internet, my suggestion is to pick one and focus on that. You’ll have greater chances of success, I promise.
And if there’s anything I missed, kindly share it in the comments section below.