If you’re wondering how it’s possible to make money online, this blog post is perfect for you. As someone who has started her own successful online business, I have first-hand experience as to what works and what doesn’t.
So many people out there are interested in finding a way to make money online, and honestly it’s not that hard!
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a millennial who’s having trouble finding a “real” job, or someone who’s actually tried to make money at home before and failed…I promise, it’s totally possible for you.
The biggest key is choosing an industry or niche that actually has money-making potential.
You can’t expect to just start a YouTube channel or join a multi-level marketing company and have cash start rolling in automatically.
Making money online isn’t that easy. But it’s also not that difficult, either.
You simply need to come at it from the right mindset. And before you get started, you should have a good idea of what particular types of jobs would be a good fit for you.
13 Ways to Make Money Online
There are two main types of ways to make money online.
The first option is called “B2B,” also known as the service-based industry. This is when one business (you) sells services to another business (your clients).
The second option is “B2C,” also know as retail. This is when a business (you) sells products or services to a consumer (your customers).
Typically, B2B industries are easier to start a business in. Businesses are almost always in the buying frame of mind, and there are a ton of services that you can offer them. Whereas in the B2C world, it can be difficult to market to and build up a reputation with your customers. It’s also usually a lot more expensive to create a B2C business, because there are equipment, overhead, and other expenses that you would not usually have in a new B2B business.
Depending on what your interests are, B2C may still be a good option for you. Here are a few examples of potentially lucrative B2C businesses that you could start.
4 Ways to Make Money Online as a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Business
If you’ve dabbled in iPhone photography and take pride in your snazzy Instagram feed…why not explore becoming a professional photographer? It’s a very creative business, and while you’ll have to be on point during the actual photoshoots, you pretty much have free reign over when you edit the photos, which makes for a pretty flexible schedule.
There’s also a ton of different sub-niches of photography. For example, you could be a wedding photographer, newborn photography, senior portrait photographer, stock photo photographer, etc.
Something that you probably see a lot on “how to make extra cash” lists is selling your stuff on eBay or having a garage sale. But did you know that selling your stuff, flipping, or reselling could actually be a legitimate way to make money working from home longterm?
You can start out small by selling lightly used clothing to consignment shops or listing old furniture on Craigslist. But it might surprise you how much you can make with a full-fledged reselling business. Seen the Netflix show Girlboss yet? That’s exactly what I’m talking about!
There’s tons of ways you can make money by reselling stuff if you are good at scouting out at thrift stores and picking through Craigslist listings.
#3: Handmade Products
This is a great option for people who are super creative and artsy. If you love knitting, crocheting, making jewelry, or hand-lettering, why not try your luck at opening up an Etsy shop or Shopify site?
There are tons of resources out there about how to start and market your own handmade shop. Just do some Googling! (One of the best ones is Creative Hive Co.)
Tutoring and teaching is a great way to make money online if you have a talent or gift in a particular subject. You can get started either by joining a service (like Tutor or Tutor Vista) or creating your own website offering tutoring services virtually or in your home.
The great thing about tutoring is that you can do it in pretty much any area of life. Math, science, english, foreign language, cooking, life skills, music…basically anything you’re good at, you could probably figure out a way to tutor someone else in that area.
If you’re doing it locally or from your home, keep in mind that you will pretty much only be able to offer services during the evenings and on the weekends, as most of your students will be at school in the daytime. But you could try to fill up your schedule by offering lessons virtually or by targeting homeschoolers.
Consider contacting your local library or private high school to find local opportunities for involvement as well.
9 Ways to Make Money Online with a Business-to-Business (B2B) Business
Personally, I’m partial to B2B-type businesses, as that is what I own myself! And, depending on your current skillset, one of these options might be better suited for you.
If you’re good with numbers, going into bookkeeping or accounting can be one of the most profitable ways to make money online. It’s flexible and it’s in high demand. Plus, you can work with a variety of different clients or specialize in one particular niche.
If this sounds like a good fit for you, there are a few different types of jobs here to consider. You can either be a regular bookkeeper, an uncertified accountant, or a full-blown CPA.
The difference between the three is that, as a bookkeeper, you don’t need to be certified and most people don’t expect you to (although, if you want, you can go through a course to get your Certified National Bookkeeper’s License). A bookkeeper does basic monthly or weekly tasks for businesses or sole proprietors. These tasks might include using a software like Xero to input income and expenses, organize expenses into the appropriate tax categories, resolve discrepancies, reconcile accounts, forecast future earning potential, and help with budgeting.
If you want to go a step further, you could also choose to be an accountant or a CPA. They do pretty much the same thing, which is preparing taxes, but a CPA can do a lot more (like actually filing the taxes on someone’s behalf) vs. an accountant. Plus, most people specifically search out a CPA when they are looking for someone to do their taxes, so actually going through the process to become a Certified Public Accountant can be well worth it. Requirements for the license vary state to state, but most include: a college degree, passing the CPA Exam, and going through the licensure process.
#2: Video Editing
Another of the popular and potentially lucrative ways to make money online is as a video editor. When most people think of video editing as a career, they probably think professional movies and television. While that’s certainly one route you can go down, it’s also possible to sell freelance video editing services from home.
Lots of people who run online businesses use video as part of their social media marketing. That being said, very few of them actually know how to edit video (and do it well). Plus, video editing is fairly time-consuming, so most business owners like to outsource it instead of stumbling through it themselves for hours on end.
If you already know how to edit video, it’s actually super easy to jump in and start looking for work. Good video editors are (in my experience) hard to come by. I mean, just check out Indeed.com. There’s currently 355 openings for freelance video editing jobs! There’s also a cool site called VideoPixie that just exists to connect people with video editors for hire.
Depending on your current skill level, it might be possible to find smaller jobs and simply gain experience “on the job.” But if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to teach yourself the basics first.
Transcription work can be a great way to get your feet wet in the online freelance world. There are even free courses and free resources out there about how to get started as a transcriptionist!
It may seem like kind of a weird job, but quite a few people have a need for this service. You might’ve heard of medical transcription as being one way to make money online. While that can be a good option, there’s plenty of other niches out there that you can specialize in!
By offering your services on your own website, or an online marketplace like Fiverr or Upwork, you can snag transcription jobs in a variety of different fields. A ton of online business owners out there need transcription work done. For example, many people use Facebook Lives or webinars as part of their marketing strategies. Then, they hire someone to transcribe the videos (that’s where you come in!). This allows them to easily turn that content into a blog post or newsletter. And that’s money in your pocket right there!
Most transcription work on Fiverr or Upwork goes for about 50¢ per minute, but that’s fairly cheap. If you can find reliable jobs around the $1.00 per minute range (price varies depending on your clientele and what your niche is), that’s a $60 per hour job. Not bad! And since the overhead is so minimal, you’ll get to keep a ton of that in profit. So there’s a lot of potential for this to be a very lucrative long-term career if you like doing it.
Proofreading, similar to transcription work, can potentially be an awesome way to make money online. The flexible hours and salary growth potential are huge perks for this job. And it’s fairly easy to jump in! There’s basically no start-up costs, especially if you have professional training. If not, Proofread Anywhere has a great free course.
Similar to proofreading, editing can be a really great field to get into. Proofreading is more about the technical aspects of writing (like grammar and spelling). Professional editing requires more skill, as they dig deep into sentence structure and typically do a lot of rewriting. People who have an important message to tell, but aren’t great natural writers, will often hire professional editors to clean up their words for blog posts, newsletters, speeches, and even books.
#5: Freelance Writing
If you like proofreading, you could also check out freelance writing. Similar to proofreading, you need some basic skills going in, but there aren’t really any start-up costs. And it can be a lot of fun if you’re someone who already loves to write!
There are basically three types of freelance writing that you can pursue. You can be an author, a ghostwriter, or a writer for hire.
Confused? Here’s the difference between the three. As an author, you’d write your own books or novels. Then, you could either self-publish them or collaborate with a publishing house to market and sell them. You’d would get a certain amount for every book that sold. Or, with big publishing companies, they’d give you an “advance.”
A ghostwriter is similar to an author, but they get paid upfront (typically by the hour, per number of words, or on a project basis), and their name would not be associated with the end product. Basically, someone pays you to write a book, blog post, or article. They then use that content as if they wrote it themselves. This field is becoming extremely popular, so if you’re good with words, you definitely should consider being a ghostwriter.
The third path in freelance writing is becoming a writer for hire. This is typically what people think of when they think of a “freelance writer,” and there are tons of courses and free resources out there about how to write articles in exchange for money. Elna Cain, a successful freelance writer who teaches others how to do it too, has a great 7-step formula for becoming a profitable writer.
If freelance writing sounded like one of the better jobs listed here, professional copywriting might be up your alley, too. Copywriting is similar to freelance writing, but instead of writing books, blog posts, and articles, the focus is on marketing materials like newsletters, Facebook ads, product listings and sales pages.
While it might seem like you can jump easily from freelance writing into copywriting (and you might want to, since typically copywriters get paid a lot more), it’s not necessarily that easy. Writing persuasively is more difficult than your typical research-based article and requires a decent amount of marketing knowledge.
It might seem hard to learn, but copywriting is becoming more and more profitable. Tons of online business owners need it for their business. (And, again, it’s hard to learn.)
But if you’re serious about learning how to write for sales, CopyBlogger has a great free Copywriting 101 course that covers a lot of the basics. Once you’ve conquered that, there’s an Advanced Copywriting Strategies for Online Sales course on Udemy that looks really in-depth.
#7: Graphic Design
Have an eye for good design? Graphic design is one of the best ways to make money online. If you enjoy working with programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, this could be the perfect thing for you! It’s creative, artistic, and fun. Plus you can set your own hours, work in a variety of different niches, and make pretty decent money, too!
#8: Web Development
Out of all these ways to make money working from home, web development is probably the most profitable option, with tons of potential for growth. If you know how to code, it’s super easy to make money online selling services like website maintenance, website design, custom hosting, app creation, eCommerce tech, and custom API development.
That being said, while this is easily one of the best and most profitable ways to make money online, it’s super hard to learn how to code if you don’t already know how, and especially if technology doesn’t come extremely easily to you.
#9: Virtual Assistance
Virtual assistance is one of the fastest-growing fields in online business. It could be the perfect option if you’re trying to find a good way to make money online, working from home. The hours are extremely flexible and there are tons of clients out there who need help.
I personally really liked being a virtual assistant because I was always doing something different. If I have to do the same task over and over again all day long…ugh. So boring.
When you’re a virtual assistant, your working day is always unique and interesting! One minute you could be checking emails, another you’re scheduling social media, and then you could have a meeting or two in the afternoon. It’s so awesome! And it’s never boring. Plus, you’re constantly learning new skills.
The best part is that it’s so easy to start! When I first created my own virtual assistant business, I made my first $1,000 in less than 90 days. And now, 2 years later, I continue to run a service-based business that generates a full-time income of at least $10k per month!