In 2017, there are more people than ever making a full-time, part-time, and life-changing income online. Following is a list of over 50 LEGITIMATE ways to work online from home in four categories, each placed into it’s own post because the lists and explanations are so detailed.
- Freelance work for hire,
- Repetitive online tasks that pay a little money on the side,
- Reselling businesses (stores and affiliates),
- Product creation businesses.
Here we go:
Group 1: Freelance Work for Hire
Work for hire is the easiest way to make money online FAST
There are many freelancing websites now, like Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour, among many others. But you can also break away from these sites, and hunt for businesses who need your services…that’s where the BIG money come from!
I’ve grouped the freelancing skills in this list into a few categories, such as writing and graphic design and technical, but many of them cross lines. The best thing to do is skim the entire list, then focus on areas that match your interests and skills.
Freelance Writing Jobs…
…content writer — articles ($-$$$$) As a freelance writer at the high end, you would be writing for top level magazines. At the bottom end, articles and blog posts are synonymous.
…content writer — website pages ($-$$$$) At the low end, you’ll write “about” pages and product descriptions. At the high end, you’ll write sales and content pages.
…newsletters ($-$$$) At the low end, you’ll write for very small local companies, like electricians and garden centers. At the high end, you’ll write for mid to large companies and corporations. Any specialized content will come from them and your job is mainly to write filler and gather their information and lay it out in the newsletter. On the plus side, much of the filler content you use for one client can be used for other clients, so you can leverage your time. Another plus is that once you land a client, they pay you month after month and you have some predictability in your income.
…sales letters ($$-$$$$) A good sales letter freelance writer can command very high fees, starting in the mid-range and moving up the scale as you build a portfolio with provable sales, especially for businesses making money the internet.
…product/book reviews ($) These gigs are extraordinarily easy to get. The biggest problem is that you won’t want to spend all the time you need to read the books or test the products. So if you can BS well, and the buyer doesn’t really care if you actually test or read — as long as you give them glowing reviews, then you can bring in as much as $20 an hour, as well as get free product.
…ghost writing ($-$$$$) Unless you get a contract that pays at least $8,000, I’d steer clear of these. They take a lot of time, and dealing with the personality for whom you’re writing the book can be a pain in the ass. I made good online money from these, but quit as soon as I started making enough elsewhere.
…promotional ebooks & reports for business ($-$$) Unlike “real” ebooks, these are written for the purposes of getting customers for the client. For example, I’ve written ebooks for lawn care companies (how to grow a healthy lawn), real estate agents (how to stage your own home), and dog food manufactures (the history of dog food and why it matters). The pay is pretty low for the time involved, around $300 to $800 per book. It takes me around 40 to 80 hours to write one of these. It works out to about $10 to $20/hour. But they’re easy gigs to get if you know how to bid in a way that makes the buyer feel confident you’ll do the job well. And if you learn to write these for yourself, you may be able to sell them on Amazon. Here’s my post about how to Write Short Reports for Profit.
…journalism ($-$$) In terms of freelance journalism, it just doesn’t pay all that much. You’re often put into the category of blog post writer, even though you’re reporting on live events. But if you’re active in a particular industry and you have an inside-track on events, you could write posts for the kinds of publications that buy current event content. If you’re also a credentialed expert, your opinion/interpretation can add a premium in value.
…white papers ($-$$) When a company wants to expand, they need to justify their expansion through an explanation to themselves and other investors. A white paper is a report on the state of some aspect of their industry.
...travel, cooking, and other advice entries ($) Not quite a blog post, these jobs pay something like $1 per entry for, say, 50 entries. They may be for a book, a blog, or someone’s own use. For instance, I saw a gig that asked “Give me 10 unusual things to do while vacationing in Ireland.”
Instructional design ($$-$$$) This is about creating instructional programs from someone else’s content. I’ve done this mostly for guru types who have a book or a coaching program already, and they’re looking for a product they can teach or sell as an online course. As a former top designer with Franklin Covey, I could command top prices in this area. The challenge is bidding correctly to account for the time it really takes to consult, design, and test the course. This is extremely profitable for someone with ID skills and some connections in the industry.
Coaching/mentoring ($$-$$$$) Once you have a following, or you have expert credentials, getting coaching clients is very easy and online coaching is a snap through Skype. Coaching is really one of the best ways to make money online fast. But I don’t recommend jumping into coaching casually. It is not only a big time commitment; it’s also a cognitive commitment. You have to devote a lot of attention to it, be a personality behind it, and market extremely well to break through the “fear of paying a lot and not getting my money’s worth” barrier that keeps most people away from getting coached. Types of coaching: Life, business, specific skills, executive, relationship, parenting, making money online.
Consulting ($$-$$$$) Consulting is like coaching for a business instead of a person. You’re going into an organization, big or small, and helping the owner, manager, or workers improve productivity by improving systems and processes. Often this involves an on-site visit, but follow up work can often be done online. An instructional designer can be a consultant. A computer programmer can be a consultant. An auditor can be a consultant. I know someone who is an organic certification consultant. They visit a farm, then follow up long-term by phone and online. Most consultants have highly specialized skill sets and knowledge.
Researcher ($-$$$) If you love ferreting out information, and you know where to access information in specific niches (such as industry and trade publications), you can do well. The people who hire you will be authors, news programs, blogs, governments, and scientists. It’s important to learn how to find people and companies willing to pay for your services. They’re not looking for your expertise as a consultant…just your ability to find information they need.
Tutoring online ($-$$) Tutoring usually doesn’t pay all that well, considering the time it takes. But, if you want to start making money quickly, and you understand a bit about how to tutor in English as a Second Language, math, science, or test prep, you have a market out there. You can go it alone on sites like Fiverr, where tutoring and coaching have become popular. You can also have your own website, or join a tutoring freelance site, like Tutor.com or Tutorhub.com.
Teaching materials creation ($-$$) If you’re a teacher, creating online lesson plans, lesson materials, and curriculum resources can be big business. You can create something on the fly as a freelancer for hire, or you can create and then sell your own products on sites like Teacher Pay Teacher. There is a small but growing market for creating lesson plans on Fiverr.
Random fun and gift creation ($-$$) Usually on Fiverr, you can ask someone to add animation to your dog’s picture and record it singing happy birthday, or get a beautiful woman to paint a peace sign on her butt. If you can think of wacky services that someone might actually want, and you’re willing to do them, go for it! Not much skill involved.
Virtual assistant (VA) ($-$$) I have personally used VA’s for a lot of work, and I pay well for efficiency and reliability. It’s not very high pay, but it can be consistent when you get a few steady clients. This is an excellent steady job category for a freelancer who is organized and enjoys managing someone else’s details. The trick to succeeding in this role is to be able to clarify what you will do for people. Remember, the people hiring you are not well organized, and may not even know what to ask you to do. You have to tell people how you will help them! In your marketing, bids, and gig descriptions, make them think, “Yes, you have told me exactly what I need.”
Social media poster/manager ($-$$) This is an insanely popular freelance job. If you have the skill to explain what you can do, and you will follow through with it consistently, you can have a steady income from just a few regular clients. Like VA above, you need to tell people exactly what they will get from you, and the results they can expect from your work.
Bookeeping/Accounting ($$-$$$) A skill set that many, many small and medium businesses are willing to pay for online.
Typing and document design ($) Usually doesn’t pay much, but if you’re a fast typer, you can easily make some fast cash. This is most likely a Fiverr job, but larger jobs might also be found on Upwork and PeoplePerHour. Here’s an example >>
Graphic design and artistic jobs…
Many of the online jobs in this category pay less, simply because there are so many competitors now in that space. After all, someone who’s talented in art or design has very few options for work. It’s very difficult to make a subscription program out of a graphic talent. Perhaps graphic artists should consider partnering with more freelance writers. A newsletter writer, for instance, might want to buy an illustration every month.
…websites ($-$$) There are two sides to web design, and a good freelance web designer should know the difference. One side is the user experience and information design. The other side is the aesthetics. People buying a website design need to know that YOU know the difference and can give them what they want and need. Some of this work also falls into a more technical category. See below.
…logos/headers ($) My son is not a graphic designer, but he still creates headers for my newsletters buyers at $60/pop. He does about four of these per month, and that’s because I feed those jobs to him through my newsletter business. (People want custom headers for their newsletters). These make a nice side income, or a way to add extra income to another suite of freelance graphic services.
…packaging design ($) I see this service on freelance sites, but don’t know much about the profitability. If you’re a spatial designer (you can do art across 3D surfaces), this might be good for you to look into.
…illustration ($-$$$) Like packaging, I don’t have much experience with this. I’ve interviewed illustrators before for a children’s book I authored. It seems like a good illustrator will “get” the idea of the book or article and be able to convey that quickly. This would be a hard freelancing job for someone who couldn’t do art quickly, as it just wouldn’t pay enough to dally over a great illustration. But once you break into the market, it may be possible to partner with editors and publishing companies to become a go-to illustrator. Usually illustrations are done in Illustrator, but might also be done by hand on paper.
…t-shirts ($-$$) My son just launched his own t-shirt business. Why? Because he’s a teen ager and wanted something he could do to make money on the side, and he likes old hippy tie-dye designs. It’s part creative project, part business for him. You illustrate your own shirts and sell them on your own website, using something like Etsy to create a store-front. You can use Teespring, where you send your image and they put it on a shirt and drop ship it to a customer who orders it. Consider making t-shirts for events and having a booth there, or consider selling your designs to an event coordinator. As a freelancer, many people want custom t-shirts made.
Voice over recordings ($-$$) I’ve paid for these on Fiverr and been very satisfied for the money spent, usually around $60. This is an easy gig if you have a great voice. As with anything on Fiverr, it’s all about getting ranked higher in search results. Here’s my complete (and free) guide to getting ranked and selling more on Fiverr.
Video editing ($-$$$) I don’t know this market, but it seems like a profitable niche for someone with a lot of video experience. Your customers could be everything from moms who want a great birthday video created to You Tube marketers looking for a professional editor.
Video after-production ($-$$) Ditto above.
Creating intros/outros ($) This is actually a fairly easy thing to do, considering there are a lot of very low-cost online programs that will do it for you.
Whiteboard animation ($) This is a very high competition category on Fiverr. The quality is also very wide. The winner here is the person who gets great reviews and markets well.
PowerPoint slide development ($-$$) Another popular service. If you’re good and fast at making slides with animations and clean graphics, this can be a steady income. Corporations and small businesses, sales staff, investors, trainers, and online course creators are all looking for professional PowerPoint presentations.
Marketing consultant ($$-$$$$) Making money involves marketing, and a lot of businesses lack marketing savvy. If you’re a marketing expert, you can sell your advice and consulting for high dollars. Just make sure you have measurable results for proof. Proof is the only way to sell your services as a marketing consultant. A marketing consultant will evaluate the current marketing and results a company is getting, then make specific suggestions for spending marketing dollars, with measurable returns.
Transcriber ($) A low-paying job that is time consuming, but requires little skill other than typing. Faster typing is better. Often transcribers will invest in software that allows them to control the rate of speech, allowing them to go as fast or slow as needed. For more on that, visit http://www.wikihow.com/Transcribe-Faster. These days, there is a lot of online software that will transcribe short texts for free, so this service will most likely be used by someone wanting a long text or technical text. When I was desperate for money, I once took a job transcribing three hours of scientific lecture. Three hours of recording is about 15 hours of transcribing. I think I made $4/hour, but when you need $60, you’ll do what it takes!
Drop shipper or Importer/Exporter ($-$$) This is basically running a kind of online store. In this case, your expertise is in sourcing products, shipping them, understanding shipping, and often customer service for shipped items. Get on with a good online store and you’ll make pretty good money. Here’s an example from Upwork >>
Customer support/service ($) Being available to help customers is a constant challenge for online businesses. They are often willing to hire someone to be their customer service support person. The job may include a huge variety of tasks, including technical tasks (helping someone with their website problems) and managing inquiries and complaints. Often your job will be fulfilling orders (drop shipping). The upside to this is that if you can get on with a few good companies, you can create a steady income.
Database creator ($$-$$$) Personally, I know nothing about this gig, but I see it often enough, and the pay is usually good, so if you have database skills, you should be able to create a nice income. See other technical freelance jobs below.
Online security analyst ($$$) I know nothing about this job, other than when I’ve come across it online, it pays extremely well and requires someone with highly technical hacking and programming skills. This is not your average run-of-the-mill freelancing gig…this is more like a consulting job.
Search engine optimization ($-$$$) Always in demand, but the competition has gotten keen, so you’ll have to be on your A game. The pay is good, because companies need page rank to make sales. If you’re skilled, you can make good money as an SEO freelancer.
App development ($-$$) While the ideal is for you to create and sell your own killer app, the reality is that many average ordinary businesses want a little app that will help them be more efficient or give them something free to enhance their business or to use in marketing. The downside is that many people want an app, but don’t realize what it costs to make one, and often you’ll bid on jobs that go nowhere. Be prepared to bid on 10 or more jobs for every one you get.
Website programming ($-$$$) Not website design. Website programming falls more into the category of PHP and database development.
WordPress consulting ($-$$$) I couldn’t live without my WordPress consultant/developer. He charges me $60/hour, and he is HIGHLY skilled. I can contact him any time I have a small need. He’ll usually be able to take care of it quickly. I’m happy, and he’s usually $60 to $120 richer. This is a great example of how to turn a skill into a more steady business…by having a list of regular clients.
WordPress site creation ($-$$) This person doesn’t necessarily need the level of technical skill that a WordPress consultant might have. But the developer should understand WordPress usability, be able to install themes and plugins, and generally make the site do what the customer wants it to do. This person will also have some website design skills.
Specialty technical consulting and freelancing ($$-$$$) This is for all other technical jobs. If you can do something that’s rare, but in demand, you can sell it!
Group 2: Repetitive online tasks
(Usually these offer micro-payments per task completed, and sometimes only points towards purchases on the site. Usually these kinds of tasks should be done in your spare time, like when watching TV or waiting for dinner to cook, or when you’re waiting at the doctor’s office. The biggest problem with any of these sites is the time it takes to ramp up. You also must compete for task assignments…no guarantees of what you’ll get.)
Human Intelligence Tasks ($) [Amazon Mechanical Turk, Swagbucks] After signing up for an account, you keep watch for jobs that you can do. These will be quick tasks, like taking a short survey, choosing between two pictures, finding a particular link on a website, etc. Pay is pennies per task.
Posting links for intermission sites ($) Sites like these ask you to post links on forums and blog comments. Your comment might be about joejava.com, but when the link is clicked, the reader is sent to an intermediate site with ads before going on to joejava. Pay is pennies per link clicked if the advertiser is active.
Online surveys ($) [ClixSense, Swagbucks, etc.] Search Google for “legitimate online survey companies”. The biggest problem with survey sites is that you have to answer a lot of “qualification questions” before you get accepted for a survey, and then often are not qualified.
Shop online ($) If you like to shop online already, and you shop at some of the listed retailers, you can earn points and money back on your purchases.
User testing $ [UserTesting] Search Google for “get paid for user testing”. These tasks often take a little longer and you may have to record yourself as you navigate the website or task. Usertesting.com for instance pays $10 per test. Still, it’s decent money for a 15 minute task.
Group 3: Reseller Businesses
(To be a reseller, you do not need your own products. You are simply reselling or promoting links to someone else’s products. This group is where most people make the biggest money online. It’s different from Group 2 above, which pays you micro-payments for doing tasks. In Group 3, you must create content, source products, and do marketing to make your money. This grouping is more about building a recurring or semi-passive online income. You must do a lot of work, but it’s not work for hire.)
Ebay reseller ($-$$$) A good friend of mine makes around $2,000/month reselling thrift store finds on Ebay. My nephew specializes in selling old records online. You can sell whatever you want, but you must source the products you sell.
Affiliate sales & storefronts ($-$$$$) Blogs, newsletters, email marketing, authority sites…this is one of the best ways to make a lot of money online. You must build an audience for this to work well, and you must create affiliate accounts that match your audience. It looks deceptively simple to do, but there is a lot to learn before you’ll make great money with affiliate sales. On the plus side, this is a proven approach to making great online money easy. I’ll review some affiliate training programs to help you out.
Group 4: Product Creation and Sales
(If you can make your own product, you can sell it online. Different online storefronts and reseller sites will promote your products, and you can build your own online store.)
Arts and crafts ($-$$) Even though you can hit it big and make a lot more money selling your own art or crafts, such as baby clothes or dog coats, most people will make just a little on the side. I’ll try to review some courses to help you figure out how to profit from things like Etsy.
Photography ($-$$) Similar to above, you need to make this into a consistent business with your own storefront and marketing effort.
Pre-written articles (on spec) ($) I’ve done a fair bit of this, mainly because as I’m writing an article for hire, I can easily spin off a second article that I put out for sale on such sites as Constant-Content.
Ebooks ($-$$$) While it takes a while to write a good book, once you do, this is a nice way to earn a passive income. I have seven ebooks on Amazon. The money fluctuates, but averages $400/month. I used to market these books and would make around $700/month when I did, but now I do nothing and they still bring in money, 100% passively.
Newsletter subscriptions ($-$$$$) This is how I make most of my money online now, with close to 1,000 subscribers paying an average of $15 each.
Courses ($-$$$) Rather than producing courses for others, you can create your own courses and sell them yourself. You can then promote them through affiliate sites, sell them on reseller sites like Udemy.com, or promote on your own website. (Take a few Udemy courses while you’re there.)
My Parting Advice
It breaks my heart to see anyone struggling financially. I know not everyone has the ability to write, to work on computers, or to market themselves. But anyone who can do those things can make some extra cash.
What stops people from being successful at making money online?
In my experience, it’s three things: First, they don’t believe it. Second, there’s a steep learning curve. Third, people lack confidence in their own abilities to climb the learning curve.
It’s not money…you can do most of these methods of making money online free. But I meet people every single day who need some extra money, and when I suggest making money online, they shut me off, or run away. It’s outside of their belief system that they can make money online. But then there are people who want to believe it and they get started, but they hit a wall when they realize they have to learn how to do it first. Even when given the resources to learn, they shut off or run away because it’s not quick and easy.
The people who do best at making money on the internet are doggedly committed. They put their heads down and plow forward despite all the naysayers around them or within them. In other posts on this site, I’ll try to review different courses and find credible sources of information to help you learn the ropes.
If you need any advice, just contact me. I created this site because I love putting extra income in people’s pockets to support their families, gain financial security, or be able to own a few luxuries. ~Linda