Ways to make money online! Search for them and you’ll find hundreds of them. Since the dot-com boom (also known as the Dot-com Bubble) in early 1997, an ever-increasing number of people became interested in learning how to make money online, and with it, the number of online money-making ideas grew as well.
But perhaps, at no time the interest in trying to create a web-based income stream has been greater than today, thanks to a near collapsing world economy, and millions of lost jobs around the world.
Fortunately, the Internet has created lots of great opportunities, and moreover, it has made it possible for almost anyone with any kind of background, skill set, and experience to earn a living with their computer.
Of course, the sad reality is that just like any other opportunity where there is possible financial gains, scammers have found a way to cash in.
So, although there are tons of great ways to get money online, sifting through them all and separating the real and legitimate opportunities from online money-making scams and get rich quick schemes, takes some experience and know how.
Unfortunately, that is where most people who are hoping to use the world-wide web as a tool to earn extra cash fail, and in most cases they fail really hard!
There are thousands and thousands of people who combined have lost millions of dollars to scammers and Internet con artists. And that’s not the worst part, the worst part is all the wasted precious time and having to face the disappointment and failure.
On the other hand, there are still tons of great, legitimate and proven ways to earn a living online working from the comfort of your own home, which is why I gathered this list.
In this post, you will find more than 50 easy and somewhat quick ways of making money online, from affiliate marketing, blogging and freelancing to selling on eBay, taking paid surveys, file sharing, getting paid to search, surf, watch videos, shop and more.
Although, there are so many great earning options and opportunities available, making money online isn’t always quick and easy. It truly takes hard work and dedication to be able to achieve the dot-com lifestyle.
Yes, there are some online jobs that are easier than others, there are some methods that produce much faster results, there are ways you can make money without spending a dime and so on, but if you want to really succeed and build a long-term revenue generation home based business, you have to invest a lot of time and hard work. Sacrifices have to be made and the work has to be treated the same way you would treat your 9-5 job.
Working at home and online, whether it’s your full-time job or just an option to make extra money in your spare time, is no different from doing it offline and in the real world.
If you want to succeed and be your own boss, you need to have the right mind-set. Forget about push button solution, forget about the free money coming out of your screen or the new shiny “make money online” software or formula that costs $149.99, but is going to get you rich over night. It ain’t gonna happen! There is no such a thing. The only people who actually fill up their pockets are the ones that sell you those so-called money-making tools and formulas.
OK, enough of my ramblings, let’s get to it!
Wherever possible, I provided additional resources and information about some of these methods by linking to other more in dept posts on the same subject. I hope that will help you get a better and more detailed picture of each option.
53 Easy Ways To Make Money Online
1- Take Paid Surveys
Doing online surveys for money could indeed be the easiest method to make money online for many people. Market research companies get paid from manufacturers and companies to gather feedback from their consumers, which they do by conducting online surveys. They then share some of that revenue with their members who take part in online surveys they conduct.
Although, paid survey scams have made it harder for people to find legit surveys sites to work with, there are still lots of legitimate paid surveys that pay for your opinion.
2- Get Paid To Read Emails
As the title suggest, you get paid for reading emails. Everyday you receive paid emails in your inbox with links to different websites, which you have to click and view for a few seconds. Not a lot of cash, but it’s something extra.
3- Get Rewarded To Complete Offers
Another option that is both easy and quick is getting paid to do free offers. Reward programs or GPT (stands for Get Paid To) as they are known, are sites that pay their members for doing variety of things.
Basically, you are compensated for doing things that you already do online in some way or another, such as signing up for freebies, registering with interesting sites, shopping, visiting different websites, etc. GPT sites are like the middle man, they get paid from advertisers to drive leads (you) to their site. They then give a percentage of what they earn from their advertisers to you (members).
4- Become A Mystery Shopper
Mystery shopping is becoming a popular method for companies for evaluating the performance and customer service skills of their employees. Although there are a lot of different opinions about this, mystery shopping is actually growing as an industry. You will be assigned to shop and dine in different places and report your experience back.
Depending on specific assignments, you can expect to be paid anywhere from $40 to $300 or more per assignment. Of course, the amount that you spend buying goods and services will be reimbursed. Sometimes you get to keep the item you bought at no charge to you.
5- Play Games (Game Money)
Yes you can actually get paid to play online games. On game sites like Farm Gold and Second Life, you can make virtual money which can be exchanged for real money.
I am sure you have heard of Ansche Chung, the first person who become a millionaire exchanging her virtual money earned from Second Life for real money (worth over a million dollar).
6- Do Freelance Writing
One of the most popular options when it comes to Internet money-making is freelance writing. You don’t need any money to invest, there is no need to own a website, (although having one helps) and best of all you can make quick money.
In most cases you get paid the same day you finish the project. There are tons of places online where you can offer your writing service to others. There are even some websites that pay you for writing exclusive content for them.
7- Affiliate Marketing
This is by far one of the top choices for a web-based business. You are basically selling other people’s stuff for a commission. You can find digital products like e-books and short reports to promote on sites like ClickBank and PayDotcom.
8- Surf The Web
This is one of the earliest GPT style sites that created an opportunity for anyone to earn few cents at a time by visiting advertiser’s websites for a set amount of time (usually less than 10 sec). You can’t really call it earning money, but at the same time, there is not much work required either.
9- Stock Photography Sites
If you like photography and enjoy taking interesting pictures, there are a bunch of websites known as Stock photography Sites where you can upload your images and receive a commission each time someone downloads an image of yours.
The good thing about using stock photography as a way to pocket a few bucks is that its passive income. You upload the picture once, but you keep getting rewarded each time somebody downloads it. Imagine the potential of having 100s of images on 5 or 6 stock photography sites.
10- Sharing Files Online
Very similar to stock photography option, but it’s files and documents instead of pictures. There are a couple of document sharing sites that you can upload any kind of file you own to, every time someone downloads one of your files, you make a few cents. Files can be in almost any format, from TXT to PDF and everything in between.
11- Review Products And Websites
Set up a website or a blog and start a review site. Website owners and bloggers will pay you to post a review of their site on your site. It helps them get the word out and helps you get the dough.
You can also review products you are an affiliate of, on your site, linking to the merchant’s site using your especial affiliate link, so that whenever someone buys the products using your link, you get your commission.
12- Get Paid To Search
Search engines are big money makers. No wonder every day new search engines pup up everywhere. But since they are not as big as Google and yahoo and some other engines, they use rewards as a way to entice users to search on their site. You won’t make a lot of money fast, but it’s a good chunk of change for what you already do anyway.
13- Sell On eBay
Almost everyone knows the potential of becoming an eBay seller and you are probably tired of hearing about it. But the truth of the matter is that eBay is a really good online business opportunity.
The best part about launching an eBay store is that you don’t really need to invest financially to get started. Start by gathering your unused stuff around the house, clean them up, take a few nice photos and list them on eBay. No mater how much money you end up making selling your unwanted stuff on eBay, it’s still better than letting them dust in your garage!
Once you get the hang of it, you can do the same for your neighbors, friends and family members for a small fee. And if you really want to scale it up, find out what are the hot selling items on eBay, find a wholesaler, buy them in bulk which comes out way cheaper, then sell them individually for a profit.
14- Craigslist Is Not Just For Lost Connections!
Craigslist is one of the most visited websites on the planet and that creates an opportunity like no other for anyone who is creative and not afraid of taking action. The easiest way to make a buck with Craigslist is to simply pick free times in the “free” section and sell them right back on CL for a profit.
For example, there are always tables, chairs, beds and all kinds of wood works that people are giving way free, you just have to go pick them up, freshen them up a bit, perhaps put a fresh new coat of paint on them and you have yourself a piece that’s worth some cold hard cash.
15- Design Logos
Hundreds of new websites and blogs are born everyday. Most of them will need a logo, but not every site owner knows how to make a logo. If you have some design talent, you can create a small business out of it, offering custom logo creations on webmaster related forums and classified ads sites. Don’t have a professional software? Use free imaging tools such as PhotoFilter to make stunning logos.
16- Flipp Website and Domain
It’s Just like flipping houses! Buy good domains and resell for a profit. Build a website or a blog, work on it for a while and once you got it to a stable point, let it go for a nice chunk of change. People like websites that are ready to go, and they do shell out handsomely. Hundreds of websites are bought and sold every day on sites like Flippa.com.
17- Design And Build Websites
If you are good at designing sites, why not use it to help yourself financially?… There are even free software such as Kompozer that you can use to design and build nice looking websites without any knowledge of HTML. Use webmaster related forums like WarriorForum and DigitalPoints to find buyers.
18- Design T-Shirts And Other Customizable Items
If you are good at coming up with catchy phrases and cool designs, you can make a decent living by designing and selling T-shirts on sites like CaféPress.
You don’t have to spend a dime on stocking products, printing designs, shipping, payment processing and returns. It’s all done for you by CafePress. All you have to do is sign up for free, create and upload coll designs, drive potential buyers to your page and earn yourself some moolah.
19- Make Digital Scrap Booking Templates
I personally don’t get this, but many people love to scrapbook, and they do pay handsomely for templates. Make different kinds of templates and make it easy for people to use them.
20- Take Advantage Of YouTube
One way to use YouTube is to use it as a tool to make yourself known. In this age of YouTube and instant super stardom, it’s not very far-fetched to think you can become a star if you can sing. YouTube and other video sharing sites make it possible and easy for anyone to have a chance to be discovered by record label companies.
Of course, there are other ways to use YouTube as a money-making platform as well. For example, you can create product review videos, place your affiliate link in the video and earn commission for every sale that is generated by your link.
21- Making MySpace Backgrounds
They are all over the Internet, those ads for MySpace background! And that means only one thing, there is still a market for MySpace backgrounds! Creating MySpace backgrounds isn’t that hard. But most users don’t have the time to do it or are simply lazy.
You can provide them with this service and customize their MySpace pages and charge a fee for doing so. What better place to advertise your service than MySpace itself?…
22- Make Videos
With the huge interest in videos online, there is always room for more. Create interesting videos of yourself or whatever and upload them to sites like Revver and Break. They will share a percentage of their ad revenue with you. Plus, you get something for each download as well.
23- Do Directory Submission
In order for a website or blog to be successful and generate revenue, it needs traffic. There are many ways to work on traffic. One way is to submit your site to website directories which is very tedious and time-consuming. That is why many webmaster and blogger who are busy with other aspects of running their online business, hire people to do it for them.
That’s where you can come in and offer to submit their sites to directories for a fee. Use forums like SitePoints and DigitalPoint to offer your service to webmasters.
24- Build A Niche Directory
You have seen those directory sites that have a list of specific sites in different categories. Set up one for yourself. Gather a list of sites and sources related to a specific niche and list them on your site.
Sell ad space to other webmasters to generate revenue. You can charge a monthly fee to have their ads shown on your site. BuySellAds.com is a good place to look for potential customers.
25- Making Photo Mosaics
If you can make photo mosaics, set up a website and offer your Photo Mosaics service. You will be surprised how many people pay for these things.
26- Work As A Virtual Assistant
As more online based businesses are born every day, the demand for virtual assistants is growing as well. People use virtual assistant for research, finding things, doing time-consuming tasks, making phone calls and etc.
Again, you can use webmaster related forums and/or forums that online business owners hang out at and out an ad in classified section. I have seen so many people make a living (and they still do) by using this simple strategy.
27- Hosting Online Forums
Use software like SebFlipper to host hundreds of separate forums from a single web server. Then charge people who are looking for a good host for their forum, to host their forum for them, or you could offer free hosting, but under one condition, you get to show your own ads (be it Ad sense, affiliate products or what have you) on their forums.
28- Install Applications
Most People have problems with installing different kinds of applications. If you are good at installing a particular app or a software, why not earn some extra money while helping others!…
29- Start A Blog
Blogging is becoming increasingly popular. You can set up a blog in less than an hour. There are many free blogging platforms you can use at first. When you get comfortable, then pay for your own hosting and domain name.
You can blog about anything you like, from your weird uncle bob to politics, your weight loss plan and your lovely girlfriend to finding a job, how much you hate paying taxes and everything else in between. No matter how bizarre and unusual your blog is, there is always an audience for it.
You can monetize your blog to generate revenue by displaying Ad sense ads, selling affiliate products, selling your own stuff, selling advertising space and etc.
However, contrary to popular belief, becoming a pro blogger and making a living as such, takes lots of work and time. You have to be patient and willing to put a lot of time and effort into it.
30- Start A Pod Cast
Think of it as voice or video blogging. Use free services like Odiogo.com to turn your blog into a podcast! Talk about interesting topics that will draw in lots of audience.
Once you have established yourself and have a decent size audience, monetize your podcast with ads. It’s a joyful and really fun way of turning a passion into a profitable web-based business.
31- Participate In Paid Focus Groups
Focus groups are basically the same as paid surveys, but unlike paid surveys most focus groups are conducted in a physical location. Focus group studies are held in most major cities.
You will be in with a group of other selected people, discussing and answering questions about whatever product or service the study is about. You can expect to make between $60 to $250 for an hour to a full day of study.
32- Domain Drop Shipping
It’s basically selling domain registration for big domain registration sites like TuCows, which makes it easy for you to start your own private label domain registration. You get compensated not only for the initial sale, but for renewals thereafter as well.
33- Create And Sell E-Books
You can make e-books about anything. It’s not as hard as you think. Look at some e-books that are selling for $50 -$100 or even more, and you see what I mean (most of them are crap, but people do pay for them!).
Got tasty recipes that you have learned from your grand ma!? Turn all that knowledge into a mouth-watering e-book with step by step guide on how to make those recipes. The best part is that it won’t cost you a penny. That’s right, you can write and create an e-book for free!
34- Amazon Mechanical Turk
It’s one of the biggest micro freelancing sites on the planet and it allows millions of people around the world to earn additional cash doing simple and sometimes rather strange tasks that can not be done by machines and computers. Tasks such as differentiating pictures from text, rewriting a sentence, pointing out difference in 2 seemingly identical images, transcribing audio files, liking someone on Facebook or following them on twitter and so on.
However, the reality is that most tasks don’t pay much, so don’t expect to quit your day job. Nonetheless, MTurk is a good option for those looking to grow their bank account (or PayPal in this case!) whenever there is a few hours to kill.
35- Review Software
Websites like SoftwareJudge will pay you for using and reviewing any of the software available in their collection. Write honest and detailed reviews and you increase your earning potential.
36- Answer Questions
Each one of us is an expert on something, and that means you too are an expert on something! Find that “something” and use your knowledge about it to offer answers and advice to people who are not familiar with the subject, on paid to answer sites.
37- Build Your Own Forum
Forums are some of the most visited kind of sites. As human we are social animals and that applies even in the cyber space. For a smart entrepreneur, that means opportunity!
You always liked talking about politics and making your 2 cents heard about whats happening in the political world, why not translate that passion into an online business! Create a forum around politics or whatever topic excites you.
Get people to join your forum by promoting it on other forums you participate in and also by posting controversial and attention grabbing posts. Once you start to receive some decent amount of traffic, monetize the space with related ads.
You can also do what many successful forums do, create an especial section on the forum where in order to get in, regular members have to pay a small fee. An example of that would be the WarRoom section of the famous WarriorForum, which only paid members have access to.
38- Do Data Entry
Not the scam one, we are talking about legitimate data entry for Google. Google pays people to take photos of businesses, and enter basic data such as hours of operation. You know how many business are located just next to your favorite grocery store?…
39- Develop Software
Know how to make a software? Then start developing software and plug-ins. One of the hottest plug-in markets is the blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger. Use forums to find out what bloggers need that you can make a plug-in for. Create your plug-in or software and set up a free blog to advertise it.
40- Do Paid Forum Posting
As I mentioned above, building online forums can be a great source of income, but new forums have hard time attracting members. People are more likely to join your forum if your forum looks busy and there are already other people participating in it. That’s where paid forum posters cam in.
As a paid forum poster, you get paid for every new thread and post you participate in. On average you can earn $0.25 per post.
41- Become A Member Of Revenue Sharing Forums
If you like participating in forums or are already a member of any forum, look for “Ad Share” sign in your user CP. Some forums offer what is called “Ad Share” program where they share the revenue earned from ads displayed on the forum, with their members. And if you already spend time on a forum that does offer Ad Share, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity to make a few dollars.
42- Translate Documents
Bilinguals are always on demand. If you speak a second language, you can use it to make money. Use classified ads sites and even freelancing sites to find clients who may need to translate documents and files from one language to another.
43- Sell On Fiverr
Fiverr.com is one of the fastest growing micro freelancing sites that has attracted lots of attention recently, due to the fact that thousands of average Joes are using it to really make a living charging a mere $5 for a variety of services and products.
Simply register for free and create a gig offering people your service. Whether its singing a song for them, calling their kids, pretending to be Santa, teaching them a Spanish phrase, making a Facebook fan page or whatever else, people pay you to do these thins for them on Fiverr.
You will be amazed how easy it is to turn the most weird and creepy things into a gig that makes you 5 bucks over and over again.
44- Be A Game Tester
Becoming a paid game tester is truly a fun way to earn some extra cash, but sadly finding legitimate companies to work for is no fun at all. Lots of scams in this industry and so you have to do your homework if you don’t want to be gamed yourself.
I have been hearing about it for a log time, but to be honest, I have never came across any legit paid game testing site. Although, I haven’t been looking hard either. But if I do find one, I will update this page with the new information. So, be sure to bookmark this page and check back.
45- Your Own Search Engine
Use Google to build your own custom search engine. Build a search engine for a specific topic like a search engine just for finding information related to music, games, movies or whatever else you like.
To get it going, set up contests for searchers, give prizes to the biggest searchers in order to entice people to use your search engine. You make your money when people search from your search engine and click on ads.
46- Blog Commenting Service
In order to rank higher and attract more traffic, more than anything else, bloggers need quality links pointing back to their blog from other related blogs. But for bloggers time is short and they barely have enough time to write content for their blogs, so they often hire other people to do blog commenting for them.
Go to a blog or webmaster related forum, become a member and post an ad in the classified section offering your blog commenting services. Then use your forum signature to link to that ad.
Once that’s done, start posting on the forum and participating wherever you can, especially on threads that have to do with link building and blog commenting in particular in order to put your signature in front of as many eyeballs as you can.
Soon enough you will have more orders that you can handle. That would be a good time to hire a few helpers!
47- Become A Job Referrer
With unemployment at a staggering %11 (at the time of this writing), finding job has never been harder for Americans (with the great depression of 1920′s being the exception here).
Again, all it takes is an entrepreneurial spirit to see opportunity even in this staled economy. That’s why sites like WiseStepp and Referearns were born. These sites basically pay you for referring new employees.
You can expect to make up to $1000 for referring the right person for the right job! Now that’s a job most of us would like to keep to ourselves!
48- Software Plus
You remember how you wished that software you bought last year could do more than just what it was built to do?… Do you know how many people around the world are thinking the same thing!?
If you have the skills and expertise, you can work on already developed software and tools to improve their functionality and performance.
49- Convert Online Money
Everybody knows that money exchangers take their bigger than “fair share” cut when converting currencies. But to do that you have to have a store front, you got to do lots of paper work, invest some money and so on.
Fortunately, you can make do the same thing online without having to deal with all the hassles and extras that comes with offline currency exchange. All you need is a simple website and you are ready to get up to 5% and even more for converting Egold to PayPal and vice versa.
50- Become A Drop Shipper
Use sites like CaféPress to create a free storefront online and be a drop shipper. You don’t have to deal with anything but getting customer to visit your online store front.
51- Sell Craft and Art Work Online
Retired and have lots of free time on your hand? Enjoy creating stunning works of art?… If so, turn your free time and skills into a profit-making machine by creating artworks and selling them online, either on your own site or on eBay, Craigslist or other classified and online auction sites.
52- Do CPA Marketing
CPA or Cost Per Action is a much easier version of affiliate marketing. As long as the person you send to the merchant’s site takes a specific action required by the merchant, such as signing up for their newsletter, opting for email updates, taking a poll or whatever else, you earn your commission.
In most cases, you don’t even have to generate a sale to get a commission. And that what makes CPA marketing attractive and very lucrative, the fact that people don’t have to spend money for you to make money. Its a lot easier to get people to opt for free things than reaching out for their credit cards!
Now that Social networking sites are becoming more popular, a lot of people want to get in the game and cash in by running their own social networking site. But since they need some members to get the word out and make the site look active, they are willing to pay people to become members and post messages.
There you have it, 53 work from home opportunities that can help you during this tough economic times. I do realize that not many of these methods can be relied on as real businesses that can yield profit year after year. These are just a few simple ways to make extra cash. If you are looking for real long-term business ideas, you should check out my 101 Small business ideas.
I created this list to show you that there are opportunities out there if you are willing to take action. Although, a few of them, like selling on eBay or affiliate marketing, do provide fantastic work at home opportunities and are revered by many Internet marketers as some of the best ways of earning money online.
Remember, although the Internet itself is a virtual world, there is nothing virtual about the need to work hard to make money online.