Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a Master's degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.
Many people think that making money online is very difficult and reserved only for the brightest folks, but that's simply not true.
Anyone can make money online. It doesn't matter if you’re smart, old, young or dumb. You can make money online with little efforts and patience.
Here are 21 legit ways that will help you make money online.
This is a passive way to make money online once it is set-up and you have the traffic needed. In the older days of the net you could simply set-up a website with a specific niche, buy FB Ads and you'd be able to bring in some decent cash (for the amount of work you put into the method.) Now you have to create an authority website, gain a following and then offer affiliate links.
Affiliate marketing should HELP people, if you're spamming your links you're not going to get sales and people will never buy your product.
It's also mandatory to tell people when you are using affiliate links, if you do not tell other people you could get into trouble legally and face a lawsuit.
The best way to approach affiliate marketing is to create VALUE FIRST and THEN offer the links to your customer base. The links should ALREADY be something they are interested in.
For example, if you have a site about Hunting, you should have affiliate links about things relating to hunting. You should not confuse your audience by having irrelevant things as affiliates.
The income you can make from this method can be substantial. The top affiliate marketers can make upwards of USD 10,000 a month.
Amazon FBA is another great way to make money online, this takes some more time to set-up and it does require a little more maintenance compared to Affiliate Marketing but the income can be greater.
There are hundreds of thousand of millionaires made through Amazon FBA. It's very similar to Shopify except that you let Amazon do the shipping for you. This means they will take a cut on your product BUT you don't have to deal with shipment and you also don't have to have stock either.
Also, because of Amazons popularity, you don't have to build an audience because you will only be selling on Amazon. You just have to get people that want your product and having them find it. It has to be a product with decent margins.
The basic idea with Amazon FBA is to find a niche product, find that product on www.Alibaba.com and then create a listing for it.
That's a very basic idea but it should get you started.
The good news is Amazon FBA is widely popular and there are tons of experts out there that have courses and free content that you can use to help you learn and beat the leaning curve.
Shopify is very similar to Amazon FBA. The only main difference is that with Shopify you can set your own margins and you get all of the profits for your sales. You also have to bring in the traffic yourself through paid Facebook ads or other avenues.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an app created to make creating and running your own eCommerce site easy.Before Shopify, selling products on the web was a PIA and required some dedicated coders to make the process run smoothly.With Shopify, you can have your website up in a few hours and selling within a day. The possibilities are endless with Shopify.
Craiglist (Picking up Scrap)
This sounds silly but you can make a lot of money from picking up others junk. Scrap can add up, especially if you strip the junk down so you get better prices at the scrap yard.
Check your local listings for junk that people want to get rid of and drive around your area looking for things at the curb that people want gone.
Washers, Dryers, Dishwashers are common appliances that people don't want to deal with hauling to the scrap yard.
The only major downside to this method is that you need a vehicle to haul things; a truck is going to get you much further than a car. In fact, I'd say a truck is almost mandatory. A car isn't going to hold very much.
If you are in decent shape and don't mind doing labour, you can advertise that you're willing to clean up people’s yards and do landscaping.
Landscaping is one of those things that most people want to do but never have the time for. An easy way to sell your service is to tell people that they can get the work they've always wanted done without having to do it themselves.
Put some effort into your Craigslist ad and include a picture of yourself, that way people will know what you look like and that you're trustworthy.
Fiverr is a massive market place where you can sell your services and make money online.
The great thing about Fiverr is that there's such a wide variety of services you can offer and it's relatively easy to get traffic to your gig.
If you read a little about advertising and write a decent description you should definitely get a sale in a month.
Once you have that first sale, you can then keep building on your service until you get more popular.
The one downside with Fiverr is that in the beginning you won't be able to charge a high rate, you will likely be working for $5 but once you get reputation you can up your price and have a lot of up-sells.
Up-sells are where you make money with Fiverr. $5 can easily turn to 20 or 50 with quality Up-Sells that the customer can't say no to.
UpWork is similar to Fiverr but the profits are greater and you have to apply to get accepted in your industry/field.
You have to take tests to prove your ability and even then once accepted, you may struggle to get clients.
It takes more effort than Fiverr but the rewards are greater.
It's kind of a fad to be a copywriter now, everyone is doing it and that's because there's A LOT of money to be made if you’re good.
Copywriting is where you write copy for businesses that sells their products. It's everywhere, especially online.
Every word you see on a website has been crafted to sell you and the persons behind those messages are copywriters. Copywriters are the salesmen of the internet.
You can make millions of dollars copywriting if you land the right clients, or you teach people how to do it.
This will give you a good idea of what copywriting entails and then you can create your website and pitch to clients.
Logo Designs (Graphics)
Companies are always going to need graphics and they're always going to want to make their websites and sales pages look good.
They're willing to pay a lot of money if you can create a jaw dropping visual experience, especially when it comes to websites.
Logo design also can bring in good money because there are always new companies forming that need a logo for their business.
Profits here, depending on the type of clients you have can vary from $40 a logo to $3000 dollars a logo.
This is also a relatively free way to make cash, as long as you have some prior design or illustration experience.
If you've never drawn before and never used programs like Adobe Illustrator, I'd recommend that you look down this list to find something else that suits your skill set.
Code is everywhere. There's tons of avenues you can take with it as well. From UX coding to Websites to Games, there's all kinds of different avenues.
Everything run through a computer runs on code, if you can learn the language and can code efficiently with minimal bugs people will pay you top dollar.
It's hard to find a good, reliable coder and businesses that are primarily online are always going to need a good coder. So, you can make a reasonable amount of money with coding.
If you have relevant experience in a field you can offer consulting services to others.
This is a highly lucrative field where you can become a millionaire.
You can consult on basically anything that you have experience in but the highest paid consulters are targeting businesses with problems that relate to;
These are the main avenues that make the most money in consulting.
The biggest downside with consulting is that you have to build an audience or customer base first, this is similar to any other freelance work.
You won't get customers right off the bat and have to build your authority in your niche. Once you've done that and established yourself, you can make some very good money.
It's easier than ever to publish a book now, with the internet and Amazon you can have your book up in less than a day and be making money from it.
The best part is that once you have your book completed, you really don't need to do any other work. The income is very passive and if you write something that people enjoy, you can turn a solid profit from your efforts.
You can get paid to review others music, all you have to do is go to ww.slicethepie.com , create an account and start reviewing.
The better the review, the better commission you make. This method isn't going to net you a living but you can make some extra beer money through it. Typically pay out is a few cents per song reviewed. Some songs are worth more than others and the value of your review will decide the commission that you make.
Selling Stuffs that You Don't Need
You probably have a lot of stuff around your place that you don't need. Selling it is an easy way to make some money, it's not glamorous but you can definitely pull in a pretty penny if you have a lot of stuff.
You also may be surprised what you can get for some of your stuff. A dusty old type-writer could sell for 100 dollars or more, same with other vintage electronics like Cameras. CD's are almost always going to have a demand and if you have a solid collection or you have some discs that are sought after, you can also make some pretty decent cash.
It might be worth asking friends if they have stuff they want to get rid of aswell, offer to sell it to them and then you take a percentage for every sale.
Everyone has random crap they want to sell.
Everyone wants money.
It's easy money, with minimal work. Especially if you have a lot of connections.
If you can spot market trends and buy domain names that big companies may need, you can definitely turn a good profit.
You want to buy names that companies and businesses may want later.
If you decide to go into the venture, you must buy a lot of domain names. Sitting on 10 domains isn't enough, you want to be sitting on 100+.
Another tactic to use is to find sites that haven’t renewed their domains and then purchase it and sell it back to them.
Photography can be a great way to bring in money, especially if you are already quite good at it.
Sites like 500px prime and ShutterStock offer a place to sell your photos while taking a cut of your profits.
For 500px prime the cut is 20% and for ShutterStock the cut varies depending on how many photos that you sell. The more photos you sell, the less of a cut ShutterStock takes.
Ever had someone say
"You make the best pancakes ever"
Or ask you
"How do you fix your car without going to a mechanic?"
Then it might be a good idea to make an internet course on how to do these things.
Courses on the internet can be sold for large profits, most courses are within the 100-500 dollar range and some can go all the way up to 10,000 dollars for courses created by masters in their field.
The biggest time-sink with a course is the creation of it, once it's created you don't have to do anything. It's very similar to an E-Book but nets you a larger profit and people buy courses more than E-Books so it should be easier to get customers.
The biggest thing to remember when you create a course is to have an audience, which you can build through a website or blog. Creating a course and then releasing it to a bare website isn't going to get you any sales and will be a waste of your time.
You have to position yourself right in the market and have an audience if you want a course to be profitable.
This is a little known money-making method but it can be quite profitable and some people make a living doing this.
Basically what you do is go to a department store like Lowes for example, buy a product there and then re-sell the product online through sites like Ebay.
Margins here can be quite good for the amount of time you put in but it does take some research to figure out a good niche and product.
I know one guy who bought blinds from Lowe's then flipped them on Ebay for about 50 dollars profit and he did this a few hundred times making 50 dollars profit each time.
If you want to make enough money to live on, you must have the space to store the product because it doesn't always sell as fast as you think and you will likely have to store it at your house before you sell it all.
Retail Arbitrage is an especially good avenue to make money if you have no experience, all you need is a place to store items and a bit of money to make purchases.
You can easily turn 100 dollars into 500 with this method and then 500 into a thousand and so on. The cap I would say is reaching the 7-10k mark. You'd have to either find a very solid niche with great margins or hire people to do some of the work for you.
Stock Trading and Forex
FOREX is more volatile, while Stocks are less volatile.
Both can make you large sums of cash but you have to know what you're doing by studying the markets.
There’s a huge learning curve with Stocks and FOREX which if you can overcome, you can make a living off of trading.
This is hardly a fast way to make money if you're starting from scratch but once it gets rolling, you can make large sums of cash very quickly (you can also lose money very quickly as well).
If you're interested in this avenue, I cannot stress it enough that you HAVE to DO YOUR RESEARCH. You can't just "jump in" into stocks or FOREX trading.
Creating websites and designing them is a very lucrative business, people are even willing to pay for a simple WordPress site and template.
You don't have to be a master coder either (although it helps).
There are millions of people that either don't want to learn how to make a website or don't understand technology well enough to create one.
If you can find these people and offer your services, you will make some fast easy money.
Top YouTubers make over a million dollars per year through ads on their videos.
If you can create engaging content that people enjoy and you can build up a loyal subscriber base and this can be a very lucrative way to make money doing something you love.
There are people on YouTube called Let's Players where they commentate while playing a game. This has taken off like crazy in the past few years and is continuing to rise. Lets Playing has made many gamers millionaires.
The great thing about YouTube is that you can combine it with your personal course, e-book or services so you not only have one income stream but multiple.
These are just a few of the ways that you can turn a profit online. There are hundred of others but this list should give you something to start with.
Making money online isn't that hard and with a little bit of effort and thought on your end you too will be making money online.
The above mentioned methods are the legit ways to make money online. Try some of them and you will see the results.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Muhammad Rafiq
Fam on March 11, 2020:
A nice article on money making Muhammad.Thank you for sharing it.
Muhammad Rafiq (author) from Pakistan on September 16, 2019:
Thanks for your comments. I have not tried creating ebooks. However, I have personally used Fiverr and it sucks when it comes to making money on it. They deduct 20 percent from your hard-earned money and you are paid the rest of money.
I love translation and I have earned lots of money through translation. The rates are very good and you can earn a lot of money. I like working with Appen. Recently, I worked for them on a big translation project and I had the chance to earn more than what I expected. So, if you are bilingual, they try it. Feel free to contact me about translation projects and guidance.
Have a nice time!
Karen A Szklany from New England on September 16, 2019:
Great article. I voted for creating ebooks as the best way to make money online. Others may have had a different experience. I've received more payments from my ebooks than any other site I'm involved with.
I'm on Fiverr and Upwork, but haven't hit my minimum disbursement amount yet so I haven't been paid by them. I have several ebooks I've authored available on Amazon, and have received regular royalties on them. They may be lower than what is owed me on the other sites, but the small amounts will add up and may even surpass the income from the other sites before I'm ever paid by them, but that has been my own experience.
I DO think you cover very valid, non-spammy options, though. Great job!
Nimi Khan from Pakistan on May 22, 2019:
alishah404040 on October 12, 2018:
FarrisFahad on August 17, 2018:
How about making money with memes? Probably the best way to make money with memes is PicturePunches. Super easy and fun.