Surely anyone with a laptop and a few wits about themselves would like to make a living online. I mean, we probably spend half of our waking lives with some sort of device in front of our faces, if not more, so why not get paid to do it!
Whether you want to make a full-time income from the convenience of your laptop or you don’t mind your day job but would like a little extra cash on the side, there are countless ways you can make a living online.
In fact, there are enough ways to make money from your smartphone or computer to fill books (which you’ve probably already read!), so I’m going to give you the extremely condensed version to get you started. The version that blocks out all of the noise.
Let’s dive into 10 of the legitimate and straightforward ways you could make a living online:
1. Start a Blog
It probably seems like everyone (and their cat!) has a blog, but they don’t all make an income from blogging. It depends on your why for starting a blog. Is it a hobby? Is it to make money? Or is it your mission to use the platform to make a change or solve certain problems? It’s most likely the latter that’s going to attract readers and then, potentially, customers or clients.
You’re going to need to find the best monetization method to suit you – from affiliate marketing, digital products (such as ebooks, downloadable products, and courses), to advertising or sponsored posts.
2. Sell Photos
If you have a flair for photography and enjoy taking high-quality images, you can make good money selling pictures online. Stock photos are in demand for businesses to use on their websites, promotional material, and social media. You’ll find dozens of stock photo sites to sell your photos, so get snapping!
If you’re passionate about sharing something with the world, then creating quality video content can make you good money on YouTube. The way you earn money is through the ads that run on your videos, but you can also get brand sponsorships of products or services.
Starting a podcast requires minimal startup costs, but it takes some planning. There are several ways to monetize your podcast once it goes live. Two popular strategies are sponsorships and advertising. If you already have your own digital products (such as ebooks and courses), you can also use a podcast to promote them to a wider audience.
Starting a Virtual Assistant (or VA) business can be a quick way to make a living online. VAs help other professionals run their businesses all from the comfort and convenience of their home computer – or anywhere in the world!
Typically, a virtual assistant has a niche range of tasks they offer, so you’ll need to finetune your services. Whether your expertise lies in general administrative duties, staff management, project management, copywriting, customer service, social media management, or bookkeeping, there will always be a demand for your services. The world of business is at your fingertips!
If you already know you can write and love doing it, nothing is stopping you from making a living out of it. You just need to decide on how much time you can dedicate to writing, define your niche, build an online portfolio, start promoting yourself, and then approach the companies with whom you’d like to work. As a freelance writer myself, I would recommend skipping the content mills (like Fiverr and Upwork). Instead, make your resume stand out and then approach your favorite businesses.
Whether you have a degree in design or you decide to teach yourself the craft through online courses and resources, you can easily start a freelance web or graphic design business (just like you would with a freelance writing business; see above). You might be creating posters, advertisements, websites, apps, business logos, marketing material, or even unique fonts.
Selling your stuff online has never been easier. There are places to sell EVERYTHING … your antiques, vintage items, arts, crafts, handmade goods, books, video games, CDs, electronics, used baby gear, furniture, jewelry, and your car. You get the picture ー you can sell pretty much anything!
It’s possible to monetize your expertise through e-courses on any imaginable topic because people want to spend less time researching something and instead have it delivered to them in a neat, manageable package. Think about the courses you’ve paid for or considered enrolling in yourself. A lot of us are willing to pay a lot for convenient access to someone’s expertise.
10. Become a Coach
If you have professional training or first-hand experience in a particular subject matter, plus a desire to help people achieve their goals or overcome their problems, you might consider becoming a coach. There are many areas that coaches work in, but some of the more common ones are career, business, health and wellness, financial, personal, relationship, and life coaching. You’ll need to explore all of the necessary study paths or utilize your personal experience to become a coach. Good money can be made, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making a living online. However, these ideas all require very little to no financial startup; they’re legitimate and easily achievable. If you have any additional ideas or experience in making a living online, please post them in the comments.
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Kara Wilson is a magazine editor, freelance writer, and a work-at-home Australian mama to two young children. You can find a variety of her articles in publications worldwide, but her favorite topic is parenting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience in early childhood, holds a degree in Psychology, is a trained sleep specialist, and has completed a plethora of courses and workshops surrounding early childhood development and health. Aside from her family and writing, her other biggest loves are cooking, nutrition, traveling, and of course, reading.