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How to make money online from home

18 min
Updated:

The world is truly digital. You can get everything you need at the click of a button. You don’t even have to leave your house to go to work. 

The internet is a goldmine of business ideas and money-making opportunities. From ecommerce to freelancing, there are many ways to make money online. 

We put together a list of online jobs covering various disciplines and interests. So, if you’re tired of your stressful commute or looking for a side hustle to meet the rising cost of living, here’s how to make money from the comfort of your home.

Benefits of Making Money Online

Earning online is becoming a popular way to make passive income or a living. According to Pew Research, 16% of Americans participate in the gig economy through online platforms.

The following benefits illustrate why.

  • Flexibility – gives workers unparalleled freedom in terms of location and schedule. You can work at your own pace and time from anywhere. 
  • Diverse opportunities – you’re not limited in what you can do. You can participate in ecommerce, create digital products, monetize talent or online spaces, etc.
  • Low entry barrier – requires lower investment than traditional businesses. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and basic digital literacy.
  • Global reach – you aren’t limited to local regions. You can sell to global audiences, increasing profits. Similarly, freelancers gain international experience working with foreign companies. 

When considering how to make money online, evaluate the effort, cost, interest, and potential.

Ask yourself: how much time can I spend on the business, or what skills or experience do I need? How much money do I need to start an online business? Is there demand or interest in my online business idea? Who is my target audience, and can they sustain my business?

20 ways to make money online

Let’s dive into 20 ways to make money online. We’ll provide insights into industry statistics, highlight necessary tools and requirements, and outline how to get started. 

1. Sell advertising space

If you have a blog or website, you can sell blank spaces to businesses that want to promote their products or services. You get paid depending on the type of ad and the number of clicks and impressions.

Starting is simple once you have an established website. Sign up with advertising networks like AdSense and embed the ad code. 

AdSense is free and delivers Google Ads to your own website. You don’t even have to choose which ads show on your site. The program automatically targets ads based on your content or audience. 

However, if an ad doesn’t match your business, you can review individual ads and block those that don’t suit. 

Screenshot of Daily Dot News Articles

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The Daily Dot places AdSense banners in various areas, including the header, blog post footer, and between post listings. 

Optimize your website to drive traffic by creating valuable content and implementing SEO strategies. You could also use heatmaps to determine ad placement for more conversions. 

2. Get into affiliate marketing 

Affiliate marketing uses third-party individuals (affiliate marketers) to promote a business’s brand, product, and service. The affiliate receives a unique link or code to share with followers and gets a commission when sales are made. 

Check out this affiliate link in the Facebook post below. The affiliate includes a promo code for discounts to entice potential customers. 

Fitness Model Holding a Meal Product

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There are two main models of commission payout: pay-per-click (paid for driving traffic) and pay-per-sale (paid after a sale). Most businesses offer the second option because it is lower risk and focuses on actual sales instead of potential sales. 

Affiliate marketing works well if you have an established audience. It also has the potential to earn you recurring revenue. For example, the GetResponse affiliate program offers two payment options. You can get a bounty payout of $100 per sale. 

Alternatively, you can earn a recurring 33% commission each month. All you have to do is promote our remarkable email marketing and automation tools to your audience.

Consider joining affiliate networks or programs if you have a decent social media following or generate sizeable blog traffic. 

We have a nice guide on affiliate marketing for beginners that you may want to check out after this. The guide shows you how to choose a niche, find affiliate networks, and strategies for executing a winning affiliate campaign. 

3. Do live streaming 

Live streaming is like TV broadcasting but with engagement features like chat. That means streamers interact with live audiences. Social media platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook offer streaming services for content creators to engage with followers and build community. 

You can make money streaming in several ways:  

  • Sell digital products, branded merchandise, or commissioned artwork
  • Partner with businesses for affiliate marketing
  • Collect donations
  • Promote sponsored products
  • Set up subscriptions
  • Sell ad space

When starting, donations and tips from live viewers will be your primary source of income. Streaming platforms have payment-integrated services of virtual currencies viewers use.  For example, Twitch uses Bits of which streamers get $0.01 per bit. The more bits you get, the more money you make.

Facebook and YouTube have similar systems.

Audience engagement is vital to streaming. So, remember to give a shoutout or prioritize the comment when someone tips you. It builds engagement and loyalty. 

If you don’t want to use a native tipping system, you can integrate third-party platforms like StreamElements and Patreon.  

4. Try transcribing

If you’re an experienced typist with a strong command of grammar, transcription jobs are lucrative avenues of online income. Plus, you can make even more money by coupling your transcription services with translation if you know a foreign language.

While there is no education requirement, you can take transcription courses to improve your employment prospects. Some companies also assess skills with sample tests. Specialized industries like healthcare and legal require certification. However, they pay higher than general transcribing jobs.

You can find transcription jobs on employment sites like LinkedIn or freelancing platforms like UpWork.

5. Provide social media management services

Reports show that the global social media management market will grow from $17.5 billion to $51.8 billion by 2027. So, if ever there was a time to become a freelance social media manager, it is now.

Social media managers help businesses grow their online presence.  They are responsible for developing strategies to increase followers, creating campaigns, producing content, and analyzing performance.

Many businesses require a bachelor’s degree in marketing or communication. Other qualifications include knowledge of major social media platforms, analytical skills, a creative mindset, and relevant industry experience. 

You will also need an online portfolio to demonstrate your skills. You can find social media management job opportunities on platforms like LinkedIn.

Social Media Content Creator Job Listing on LinkedIn

You can also set up a freelancing profile on Upwork and Fiverr to promote your social media management skills.

6. Do online surveys

While you won’t make a living taking online surveys, you can earn extra money for daily expenses or gift cards to restaurants and stores. 

The average pay for survey sites differs by site. For example, InboxDollars pays between $0.50 to $5, while FocusGroup.org offers $50 to $200 for completing studies.  

Popular paid survey sites include Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Opinion Outpost. Each site has its eligibility requirements and compensation methods. To get the most out of survey income, skip surveys with high time requirements but low payments. Also, don’t limit yourself to one site.

Be sure to research the survey sites before handing over your personal information. The survey industry is susceptible to fraud. 

7. Become a mystery shopper

Becoming a mystery shopper is perfect for people who like to shop. Not only are you paid to do what you love, but you also get to keep the items you buy.

Sound too good to be true? Not really.

Businesses and market research firms pay mystery shoppers to gain real-life insight into customer experience performance. Mystery shoppers look and behave like regular customers, except they have a set of instructions or guidelines to evaluate their shopping experiences. 

Below is a template of an assessment tool a secret shopper might use. 

Example of Mystery Shopper Assessment Tool

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The mystery shopper rates the business for various aspects of customer experience, such as first impressions, merchandising, and ability to meet customers’ needs. 

Various industries, including retail, hospitality, e-commerce, and call centers, use mystery shopping to assess customer interactions. 

To become a mystery shopper, you must sign up with agencies like Secret Shopper or Market Force. Payment varies across companies. However, you can expect free items, gift cards, or an average $18/hour salary.

8. Build an online course 

Do you have in-depth knowledge in a particular field? You can design and sell an online course

Industry leaders and hobby enthusiasts are teaching online courses about everything from mindfulness to aerospace engineering to money management. 

Below is a class on how to care for succulent plants, for example. 

Make Money with Skillshare by building online courses

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Now, it’s easier to conduct online tutoring. Course builders help you create lesson plans, syllabi, and assignments. And online course marketplaces like Udemy host upload your courses.

If you’re looking for a course creator, make sure to check GetResponse’s Content Monetization platform. GetResponse provides all the tools for you to create your course, promote it, and make money online.

9. Launch a podcast

Podcasts are an increasingly popular medium, with projections showing 113.62 million listeners in the U.S. alone by 2029. Audiences can’t get enough audio content because they can listen while doing other activities. Podcasting topics vary from social commentary and true crime to business tips and creative stories.

If it seems like everyone and their brother has a podcast, it’s because it’s true. Launching a podcast is easier than you think. All you need to start is a computer (laptop or smartphone) and the gift of the gab. Moreover, some podcasting software solutions are free.  

As you grow, you can invest in microphones, headphones, pop filters, and audio mixers to improve the listening experience. You’ll need lighting and video cameras if you have a video podcast.

Most podcasts make money through sponsorships, ads, and affiliate marketing. 

10. Become a voice-over/ dubbing artist

If you’ve ever been complimented on your tone or articulation, consider a career in voice-over acting. 

You aren’t limited to the entertainment industry (think anime or foreign films).  You can lend your voice to businesses for commercials, educational/explainer videos, and automated response systems. 

Getting started is simple. You’ll need a microphone, headphones, and voice recording software to create a demo reel and work submissions. Demo reels are dubbing artists’ CVs. They are 60-90-second snippets showcasing a range of styles, tones, and emotions.

You can then find voice-over jobs on freelance websites like Fiverr or dedicated platforms for voice-over talent like Voices and ACX. Pay varies depending on experience, script length, and project type.

11. Do data entry

Data is the hottest digital commodity. It enables businesses to understand customer behavior, spot trends, and make informed decisions. Managing data is a monumental task, and companies frequently have to outsource to keep up. That’s good news if you’re looking for a way to earn money online. 

Data entry refers to entering data (text, audio, video, or image) into computer systems (spreadsheets, databases, online platforms). It doesn’t require higher education training and offers various options for different skill sets and interests. 

For instance, micro-tasking is small data entry assignments ranging from entering lines of text to AI data training.  Data verification specialists analyze, identify, and correct company data. Activities include proofreading, fact-checking, and more. 

Search freelance marketplaces or join micro-tasking platforms like Clickerworker to find data entry jobs. 

12. Become an app developer

Software engineers can make money online by building mobile apps. The global mobile app market is massive. The driving force behind it is the proliferation of smartphones and increased internet usage in developing countries due to low-cost data plans.  

Which apps have the largest market share? Games.

Global Mobile Application Market Share by Application in 2023

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The gaming industry dominates the mobile app market, with trends like AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and MR (mixed reality) attracting customers. 

That doesn’t mean you need to build a super complex mobile gaming app. Sometimes even simple ideas can result in viral apps. Remember the Flappy Bird app from 2013? 

13. Provide remote customer support

Remote customer support isn’t different from regular customer service. Your responsibilities are resolving customer queries over the phone, email, chat, and social media. 

So, if you’re tired of your daily commute, consider transitioning to working from home in a customer support role. Most customer service software is cloud-based, meaning you can access your workspace from anywhere in the world. You only need a computer and a stable internet connection.

Many customer support jobs have a low entry barrier. Companies usually provide training and onboarding to familiarize new hires with policies, products, and systems. However, you may have to take assessment tests, like the one below, to determine whether you’re suitable for the position. 

Customer Service Test Question on Testlify

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These assessments screen out candidates who copy/paste job descriptions onto resumes. They also allow applicants to visualize their workday.

14. Create YouTube videos

Turning YouTube views into revenue requires more than uploading and promoting your channel. For starters, you must be part of the YouTube Partner Program to access monetization features. 

To be eligible for the program, you should have at least 1,000 subscribers with 4,000 authentic and public watch hours in the past year or 1,000 subscribers with 10 million Shorts views in the past 90 days. 

Once accepted into the partner program, you can make money using the following features:

  • Advertising revenue
  • Shopping
  • Channel memberships
  • Super Chat & Super Stickers
  • YouTube Premium revenue

You can still earn from your YouTube channel even if you’re not eligible for the partner program.

The first way is adding affiliate or crowdfunding links to the video description area.

Affiliate Marketing Screenshot Make Money Online

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The YouTube Backpacker in the example above earns a commission on products featured in his videos.

Another money-making option is creating sponsored content. Brands pay you directly, and YouTube doesn’t get a cut of your earnings.

15. Flip websites

You’ve heard about flipping houses – buying, renovating, and selling homes for profit. Similarly, websites are assets you can buy, optimize, and sell. It’s ideal for web and user experience designers to make money online. Even SEOs can flip websites after working on them to improve rankings and organic traffic.

So, where do you start? 

First, decide whether to build a website from scratch or buy one from an online marketplace like Flippa.

Building a new website gives you more control over the site setup. However, it is time-consuming. 

You not only have to consider site construction. For new sites to rank on the search engine results pages, you must generate organic traffic through content creation, link building, and technical SEO. And these take time. 

On the other hand, buying sites with the groundwork done – content, high-quality links, traffic, and time – allows web developers to go straight to optimization strategies.   

You’ll find buyers in the same marketplaces where you bought your website. Alternatively, you can put a ‘For Sale’ listing on your site’s footer. 

If website flipping is too much work for you, try domain flipping. Purchase domain names from domain registration sites and sell them at a higher price. 

16. Become an Airbnb host

Platforms like Airbnb let you generate passive income by renting your home or spare room to travelers. Listing is free. Plus, you reserve the right to accept or reject potential guests.

When setting your price, consider the going rate in your area and the hosting costs (cleaning, utility bills, taxes, and a 3% payment processing fee). 

Clean and declutter your rental space to showcase it in the best possible light. Airbnb sends a professional photographer for free if you’re an active host. When describing your place, highlight unique or relevant features such as its distance from public transit, restaurants, or cultural activities.

Depending on your housing situation, you might need permission from your landlord or homeowner’s association before listing your property on Airbnb. Furthermore, some localities require a business license to run an Airbnb hosting business. 

17. Play online games

If you’ve ever been told to stop playing video games and get a job, rejoice! You can earn money from doing just that. The video game industry is extremely profitable. It’s worth $283.30 billion, with an annual growth rate of 8.7%.

Previously, we discussed various ways to earn money through live streaming, including donations, sponsorships, and merchandise sales. The majority of gamers on Twitch and YouTube make money this way.

Another way to make money through online gaming is playtesting.

Video game companies often collect feedback about the user experience of their product. It helps developers identify glitches and make improvements to enhance gameplay. Playtesters provide this feedback, with developers observing how well gamers understand the concept, where they get stuck, how players use controls or features, etc. 

You can sign up to be a playtester on video game company websites or testing platforms like Playtest Cloud.

Electronic Arts Playtesting How It Works Guide

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EA (Electronic Arts) has a simple four-step process to becoming a playtester. 

A third way gamers can make money online is through tournaments. E-sport leagues offer cash prizes to winners for local and international competitions. Professional gamers also earn salaries through sponsorships.

18. Participate in online market research

Surveys are a type of market research. We separated them here because there are differences in how to make money online. The other research techniques are interviews, focus groups, product testing, and observation. 

Online market research is a part-time money-making activity because you are limited to a certain number of projects per year.

Unlike survey taking, market research is more involved. The researcher conducts a session with the participants in person, via phone, or videoconferencing. These sessions can last hours. Since market research takes longer, the pay is higher than for online surveys. Generally, the longer it takes, the more you earn. 

Another difference between surveys and market research is that pay varies depending on expertise. Professionals receive higher rates due to their experience and knowledge of a particular topic. 

19. Create a membership website

If you’re a creative (artist, writer, musician, or filmmaker), you can make money online by creating a membership website with subscription plans. Subscriptions are a recurring revenue model where customers pay a regular fee to access your work. These can be weekly, monthly, or annually.

With a membership website, customers don’t just pay to access your content. They’re paying for exclusivity, such as bonus or early-release content. 

One way to create a membership website is with monetization platforms like Patreon. Users create subscription tiers with varying price points, benefits, and privileges.

Below is an example from podcasters Rory and Mal.

Patreon Membership Options

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The Patreon page has four membership levels. The first level is the cheapest and most basic. Subsequent levels build on the previous ones, adding desirable benefits such as bonus episodes, early access to merchandise, and private chats.

Platforms like Patreon are convenient but take a percentage of your earnings for managing and processing payments. 

Alternatively, you can build a membership website. This is a great option since you’ll have more control over your site. Plus, building the website is really easy, especially when you’re using a membership site template.

Professional artists, photographers, and graphic designers can turn their online portfolios into an online store. Subscription plugins, such as Sell Media, enable you to create attractive plans with specific download limits.  

In addition to generating recurring revenue, membership websites help build a community of loyal customers.

20. Become an Instagram influencer

According to Trend Hero, there are 64 million Instagram influencer accounts. There’s no reason why you can’t be one of them. All you’ll need is an Instagram account with an engaged audience. 

That’s easier said than done, though. The amount of money you can make depends on the number and engagement of your followers. 

Instagram Influencer Earnings by Account Size

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The graph illustrates the earning potential of influencers based on their follower count. Nano-influencers (1k—10k) earn an average of $1,420 monthly, while mega-influencers (over 1M) earn $15,356 monthly. 

However, don’t get hung up on the numbers. A dedicated following of 1,000 is better than an unengaged 50,000 follower count. 

Influencers make money in four main ways: affiliate marketing, brand partnerships, social selling, and earning badges (tips) on Instagram Live. 

How to make money online FAQs

1. Does it take money to make money online? 

No. You can make money online with little to no startup costs. In most cases, you only need a computer and an internet connection. If you’re an Airbnb host, all you need is your house.  

2. How can I make money on my website?

You can make money on your website by selling advertising space or promoting affiliate products. You can also earn recurring income by making your website a membership platform, where visitors pay to access your content.  

3. Can I make money from my social media accounts?

Yes, you can make money from your social media account through affiliate marketing, brand collaborations, fan funding, and ad revenues. Each social platform has requirements that content creators must meet to earn money. To monetize your account, you must have a minimum number of subscribers and watch hours. 

In closing

Making money online isn’t the preserve of a few. There are many legitimate online opportunities that suit your skills and financial situation. 

If you enjoy engaging with people, consider becoming an influencer or starting a podcast or YouTube channel. Those with professional experience can work as freelancers or create online courses to share their knowledge with others. 

Even if you don’t have a desirable skillset, you can still make money fast by taking surveys or becoming a mystery shopper. 

As you can see, the sky is the limit.  This article only showed you how to make money online in 20 ways. If hundreds of people can do it, so can you. However, be wary of get-rich-quick schemes or opportunities that ask for credit card information or upfront fees. 

So, what are you waiting for? Put your talents to good use and start making money online today.


Nael Chhaytli
Nael Chhaytli
Nael Chhaytli is a Digital Marketing Expert and a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at GetResponse with a diverse background in marketing specializations. He has used his expertise to drive success and growth for businesses in the service, SaaS, and e-commerce sectors.
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