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How to Make Money Online for Beginners [Complete Guide]

Consider this your crash course on how to make money online for beginners. Because there’s no denying that everyone dreams of a life of pleasure and leisure. Of course, that means one steeped in financial means and wealth rather than replete with bills, stress, and a looming fear of fiscal collapse.

Nevertheless, achieving what is coined as ‘financial freedom’ is no easy feat. But with some effort, anyone can do it.

The truth is, making money online is not hard to do. Anyone can sell stuff online and make a few bucks. The hard part is the consistency part. And its consistency that will make you a lot of money.

There are countless opportunities to generate an income online! Today I’ll share 21 ideas for online revenue streams. Which one will appeal to you?

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21 Ideas for Beginners to Make Money Online

Luckily, this guide has rounded up a few ways on how to make money online for beginners that are more sophisticated than the $10 that comes from mowing lawns.

1. Virtual Assistant

Although it doesn’t sound glamorous, becoming a virtual assistant is a job that will help you pay your bills and then some. Based on where you reside and the wages of your respective area, this can be a move that helps keep the lights on.

Nevertheless, if you’re highly organized and can manage your time well, you can help a business in time management while raking in some good money. You can even specialize in one area so you can charge a higher rate.

Once you build a strong portfolio and resume that you can push to the world on sites like Fiverr, you’re likely to land well-paying clients.

However, it’s worth noting that you may need to take a significant pay cut to boost your credibility before higher-paying gigs start rolling in, and you can start stacking up the extra cash.  

2. Article Writing

Journalism and professional content writing are some of the most sought-after fields that lend to the convenience of generating an income virtually and the flexibility of location.

It’s a no-brainer that you need a great skill set if you want to be taken seriously as a freelancer and earn a good living while content writing. That requires patience and experience. 

To build up your skills, you need to commit to writing each day regardless of how you feel. It takes serious grit. For instance, you can set a daily target of at least 1,000 words as the minimum. 

Doing so cultivates the habit which is at the helm of success in any endeavor. If you find regular work as a freelance article writer or blogger, that paves the way for you to garner the experience needed to write for the biggest names in the digital industry. 

3. Start an eCommerce Business

A great way to tap into the vast online world is by building an eCommerce site and becoming a small business owner.  A virtual shop grants you free rein to sell information, products, or services to people across the globe.

eCommerce is a foolproof way of bringing wares to the masses and generating an income for your online store regardless of your location. However, as you may know, effort, consistency, and diligence are required. 

Besides the information, services, or items you intend to sell in your online store, you need to build an online platform and drive traffic to it. That entails advanced knowledge of search engine optimization and online marketing.

However, if you have the funds, you can rope in the experts to get the job done and fast-track the process. 

Before crunching the numbers of your earning potential, take the time to conduct your due diligence and hire a sales expert if possible. After all, you want to build a top-notch site that will attract customers in drives.

Although it’s a tedious endeavor that also involves domain registration, eCommerce platforms, when done right, can pay off in the long run. 

4. Sell New and Used Products 

Selling used and new items on online sites such as eBay and the Amazon Marketplace is a great way to earn money online. These are the top online selling destinations where you can easily reach the masses.

Rather than build your eCommerce shop, selling items on these marketplaces can be an instant boon for you as no skills are required and a legitimate way to earn decent money. 

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Once you go through the approval process of these bustling online hubs, the doors will be open to a flurry of potential immediate buyers. However, you’ll need to make sure you adhere to a few principles when joining Amazon and eBay. 

In addition to crisp, clear photos, you must craft a meticulous description of the product. Potential customers gravitate more towards attention to detail which goes a long way in successful sales. 

Related: How to Make Money on eBay [Plus what to sell that earns the most]

5. Rent Out Your Home 

Given the soaring popularity of sites such as Airbnb and VRBO, people flock to the rental marketplace to rent out their homes for short-term stays in sought-after destinations across the globe.

If you have a home in a vacation destination, it’s worth renting out to boost your income by a few hundred bucks. 

It’s a no-brainer that you need to abide by the stipulated regulations, rules, and local laws. Depending on where you live, these may vary.

Additionally, if you don’t own the home, you’ll need permission from the homeowner before you give vacation rentals a try. 

Conducting your due diligence will help you avoid unwarranted surprises. For instance, research the number of people renting out their homes on Airbnb coupled with the going rate.

Furthermore, research on how these homes compare to yours. There’s a lot of ground to cover if you’re considering this route, so attention to detail is important. 

6. Build a Mobile App

Developing or creating a successful mobile app in a field littered with apps can be an uphill battle. However, it’s not the creation process that’s challenging but rather the marketing.

With the plethora of apps vying for people’s attention and a boatload of cash to be made by the sheer volume of the industry, it’s no surprise that competition is fierce. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop people from striving for success with mobile apps and digital marketing. 

As an industry that spans billions of dollars with users from across the globe, it’s not surprising that building or developing a mobile app has an allure to it. If you want to build a smartphone app, ensure you craft something invaluable.

However, it implies that you have to create an app of inherent value. It must also be captivating for people to consider in-app purchases for this kind of digital product.

Take the time to thoroughly research this money-making opportunity before you jump in blindly. 

7. Online Surveys 

While filling out online surveys won’t make you rich, sparing a few minutes of your time to earn a few extra bucks won’t hurt.

Swagbucks, for instance, allows you to earn points and redeem them for cash-back or gift cards. The cash-back option is available for more than 1,000 retailers like Target, Amazon, eBay, and Starbucks. 

To get the ball rolling, you earn points via different tasks such as shopping on their portal, watching videos, and filling out an online survey. The best part is that signing up is free, after which you get a $10 registration bonus. 

Related: Highest-Paying Survey Sites that Pay Cash

8. Online Tutoring

Online tutoring entails a one-on-one session that occurs on the web in real-time as a form of teaching. Regardless of what some platforms might suggest, online teaching must involve a human being. 

Here’s my list of the best online tutoring jobs, even for beginners.

The tutor can be someone that the student is familiar with within a real-life capacity or someone from across the world that the student solely engages with virtually. The requirements for online tutoring are that the tutor and student:

  • Have sufficient bandwidth and a stable internet connection.
  • Have a device that can deliver and revive the virtual lesson. 

If teaching tickles your fancy, you should consider tutoring when you have some free time and want to earn some extra money. For instance, you can teach English as a second language and rake in up to $2,000 monthly, depending on the hourly rate.

Don’t like tutoring? Here’s a list of other well-paying job ideas:

9. Perform Small Tasks

If creativity doesn’t come naturally to you, there’s still an opportunity to rake in extra bucks by availing your handy services on sites such as TaskRabbit. A few options include:

  • Assembling and disassembling furniture
  • Helping people move homes
  • Courier services
  • Grocery shopping and picking up groceries

10. Graphic and Web Design 

Do you have graphic or web design skills under your belt? Then it might serve you well to find an online course you can enroll in and learn.

In today’s digital era, such skills are in high demand. With many businesses transitioning into the virtual space or trying to market and expand their services, graphic and web design are ripe for the picking. 

Nevertheless, like other industries, competition is stiff as a graphic designer. Sites like Fiverr create countless web and graphic design gigs that you can do for hundreds of dollars, depending on your expertise and the complexity of the task. 

Learn how you can make the most money using Fiverr with these tips for setting up your profile to gain high-paying clients.

Upwork is another great option to consider if you’re looking for more serious work. It contains larger projects in the field that pay up to thousands of dollars. But, again, competition is fierce, with a multitude of people attempting to undercut others.

Therefore, having a stellar track record as a graphic designer and a powerful portfolio is the path to raking in the big bucks. 

11. Download Money-Making Apps

If you’re an online shopper, downloading and installing the best money-making apps can earn you extra cash each time you shop. Let’s discuss a few favorites. 


You can earn up to 40% back on your purchases at renowned retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Home Depot. Rakuten also offers promo codes at a boatload of eCommerce sites. 

What you’ll also love about the app is that the points are redeemable as you deem fit. Once you cash out and receive gift cards, you can credit the funds to your PayPal account. 


Despite the common misconception that investing entails buying and managing properties and other assets, there are easier ways to invest. With Acorns, anyone can become an investor.

The app helps you save by rounding up your purchases on the credit or debit card you prefer, after which every time your savings hit $5, your money is automatically invested in ETFs. 

Depending on the plan you choose between $1, $5, or $3 monthly, Acorns is the epitome of convenience for young investors. 


As a grocery store app, Ibotta allows you to scan your shopping receipts for points. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that grocery-saving apps allow you to simultaneously scan the same receipts for optimum earnings.

Before heading to the store, check out the brands participating in the app to avoid missing out on special ongoing offers. 

After you shop, capture a picture of your receipt to earn the points you qualify for. Additionally, you can rake in extra points through referrals to the app. The points are redeemable for gift cards to a boatload of stores. Alternatively, you can cash them for as low as $3.

12. Create a Blog 

If you can create a niche audience for your blog, there’s no reason you can’t earn an entire paycheck. However, to start making money from blogging, you must treat it as a business and be willing to learn skills like affiliate marketing and keyword research.

Rather than receive payment conventionally per click or 1,000 page views, affiliate marketing entails an advertiser paying an affiliate publisher (your blog) upon referring a paying customer. You can also use display advertising and selling your own digital products through your blog to make money.

13. Software Development

It’s one of the most lucrative services that you can offer to fit the active-income bill online. Also popularly known as coding, software development is soaring in demand and continues doing so for the foreseeable future, with the reach of technology unraveling its tentacles deeper into our lives. 

Some of the most successful digital nomads across the globe are coders, globe trotters traveling from one city to another or working from the most obscure places. Nonetheless, the learning curve is high, so it takes acute passion and diligence to thrive in this industry.

If you’re serious about software development, Upwork and Fiverr are great sites to look for work. 

If you want to learn web development, consider enrolling in an online course that covers the groundwork to get you from beginner to expert. 

14. A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Expert 

The SEO world is convoluted at best, loaded with misinformation or outdated information by people claiming to be specialists in the field. Furthermore, there’s a wealth of scams implemented by unscrupulous individuals on the quest to take advantage of those who are oblivious to the intricacies of online marketing. 

Overall, there’s a lack of trust in the industry, with a few leading minds at the helm of this complex industry. Nonetheless, by taking the time to learn and fully grasp the complexities of being armed with the right knowledge wielded with integrity, the possibilities are endless. 

A professional SEO receives a premium hourly wage that can run into thousands of dollars per project. Although it’s not a breeze, you can learn SEO and become a leader in the field, having the uncanny ability to deliver invaluable services to the masses. 

It’s usually best to learn by doing in regards to SEO so make sure you have your own blog to test the latest SEO strategies on.

15. Remote Salesperson 

If your forte is sales, and you’re a beginner, the world is your oyster when it comes to the wealth of opportunities you can seize upon generating a solely online income. It saves you the hassle of door-to-door and in-person meetings. If you have the gift of gab, you can sell anything. 

Becoming a remote salesperson also ushers in the flexibility to choose your working hours and may prove to be a great idea for you. For the most part, you can set your schedule for as long as you can generate sales.

If you can sell an item to someone and do so efficiently, then you’ll excel in your preferred industry. The goal is to discover remote sales opportunities and job-seeking sites, put together your resume of skills, and crush it.

With the drive to succeed, you’re halfway there and will be well on your way to maximizing your earning potential. 

16. Use a Robo Advisor to Invest 

Just as the name suggests, a Robo advisor puts your investments on autopilot. With the wealth of these advisors available, once you fund your account, set your goals, and choose your risk, you’re ready for action.

If you want to invest but don’t grasp the complexities of investing, the Robo advisor will handle the heavy lifting. Like with all investing, it’s important to do your own research into funds and fully understand what you’re investing in before doing so.

17. Sell on Etsy

The setup of this kind of online store or site is just as gratifying as Amazon and eBay. However, keep in mind that Etsy has some costs to factor in if casual sales are your goal as a new small business owner. Let’s discuss the fee schedule for this online store:

  • After each sale, you’ll incur a 3.5% transaction charge of the cost of the item
  • Each listing is charged $0.20

18. Textbook Sales 

Let’s face it. Most of us have old textbooks lying around or tucked away in the attic, some of which are valuable. Selling them to recoup some of the cash you spent would be a great way to declutter.

If you buy your books from Barnes and Noble, they can make it a breeze to sell them back at the end of the year.

18. Start a Podcast

Podcasts and blogs are two of the main side-hustles in today’s digital era. When doing a podcast, you can make money just as you would when running a blog.

After you find a niche topic, it’s easier to narrow down your audience and embark on the journey of affiliate marketing and sponsorships. Although it takes a while, you can reach out to marketers whose products tally with your niche once you build a dedicated following. 

Related: Ultimate Guide on How to Make Money with Your Podcast

As a podcaster, you can also use Twitch as the platform you use to grow your audience. Simply make a Twitch account that is dedicated to your podcast. It is free to use and requires no upfront financial investment on your part. 

20. YouTuber 

If talking in front of a camera comes easy for you and you have a product or idea you’d like to discuss, then starting a YouTube channel might be right up your alley.

Here are a few ways that you can earn money on the platform. 

YouTube Partnership 

If you meet the stipulations to become a partner, you can rake in a good amount on this online platform. Of course, that means your YouTube channel must have soared to at least 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. 

It’s only when you gain partnership that you can begin earning by the number of views you receive. YouTube takes about 45% of marketing revenue. However, the cost per thousand (CPT) that advertisers are charged differs. Most partners take home $0.30 to $2.50. 

Connect to Google Ad Sense

Once you gain a YouTube partnership, you have free rein to connect to Google Ad Sense, their marketing system whereby you receive payment based on the number of times someone clicks and watches an advertisement. 

Product Placement

If you get brands to sponsor your videos so you mention their products, you can rake in the big bucks. However, YouTube will need a heads-up of these product placements.

Failure to mark videos as sponsored may end up with them pulling their partnership. 

You can generate even more income if you can get companies to sponsor your YouTube videos or place their products in your videos. Make sure you follow all FTC requirements for sponsorships or else you may land yourself in hot water.

21. Photography

If you’re looking to become a professional photographer or capturing crisp, clear photos is a hobby, you can sell your work to stock photo companies such as 500PX, 123rf, and Crestock.

Alternatively, if you’re using your smartphone camera, you can sell your pictures to companies like Foap, EyeEm, and Scoopshot and earn extra cash doing something you love. 

Beginner’s Guide to Making Money Online WrapUp

Making money is becoming easier with the advent of technology. Provided that you’re somewhat tech-savvy, you can earn extra cash.

Although these are 20 plus ways of how to make money online, they are the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, if you get your creative juices flowing, the world is truly your oyster.

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