9 Easy and Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online

Last updated: April 6th, 2018

make money onlineThe internet is flooded with ways to make money online. Some of them are scams, while some are genuine and legitimate ways to earn money online.

I started my online money making journey back in 2015 with a few simple and small jobs on Fiverr. I made an easy thousand rupees within a few weeks. Here is a snapshot.

make money online from Fiverr

Not a bad start, right?

These are quick and easy to do tasks which can give you some extra pocket money. I will talk more about these jobs in the Micro Jobs section later in this post.

There are other, more lucrative ways to make money online which I will show you. You will learn how ordinary people like you and me can make lakhs of rupees through online ventures.

I will list out 9 easy and legitimate ways you can earn money from the internet.

However, it is up to you to implement these ideas and start earning online. Unless you take action, reading this article will not serve its purpose.

Most importantly, do not limit yourself by thinking that you cannot do it. Thousands of people all over the world are doing it. So can you.

Don’t think that “oh, this person can make money online because he is blessed with some special skill” or “he does not have the problems that I have”.

These are self limiting thoughts which hold you back. Just take the first step, and you will realize it’s not so difficult.

By the way, when I say easy, I don’t mean quick or instant.

When I say easy, I mean anyone with an access to the internet can do it. You don’t need any special qualifications or certifications.

All you need is a drive to take action, a passion to succeed and determination to keep going.

Yes, you will have to work hard, and long, to be really successful. You will have to be patient to let the results show.

This post is a long one; if you are in a hurry, jump to the section that most interests you – and learn how to make money online.

9 Ways to Make Money Online

I have tried to do a detailed and in-depth analysis of each of the ways to earn money online that I have listed. I have also provided a range of expected earnings from them, along with the average time to start making money.

1. Work as a freelancer – Sell your skills

If you are good at doing something, you can make money from that skill. There are thousands of people and businesses looking for various kinds of skilled people online. You can sell almost any skill online.

Online freelancing can be a great career option. You can earn much more than a corporate job and have complete freedom over when and where you work.

Here’s a snapshot of a few of the top Indian freelancers on Upwork, a popular freelancer portal.

top upwork freelancers from India - make money online

You can see there are freelancers for various skills and all of them are earning well. With an hourly rate of $10 per hour, you can easily make more than  ₹100000 a month if you work for around 40 hours a week.

As you grow in experience, you can charge much more for your work.

I made a neat ₹10000 by writing English idioms for a website. I used to work for 1-2 hours a day and wrote 200 idioms with meanings, examples and origin.

There are websites which serve as a marketplace for connecting freelancers and their clients, like:

  1. Fiverr
  2. Freelancer
  3. Upwork
  4. Guru
  5. PeoplePerHour
  6. iWriter (for content writing and copywriting)
  7. Truelancer
Certain skills are much sought after and have a huge demand.
  • Web development
  • App development
  • Graphic design – Logo design, animations, cartoons, etc
  • Digital marketing – SEO, Content marketing, Social Media marketing, etc
  • Writing – Content writing, Copywriting, resumes, articles, etc
  • Editing – Proofreading, editing, article rewriting, etc
  • Translation
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Spreadsheets and Presentations (Excel and PowerPoint)

If you are good at any of these, freelancing is definitely for you. You can start at a lower rate and as your reputation grows, you can charge a premium and make a career out of your skills.

Even if you don’t have any of these skills, you can still make some money from any skill that you have.

You can try for the position of a Virtual Assistant if you are good at admin related tasks like setting up meetings, handling email and phone calls, scheduling and prioritizing work and other secretarial responsibilities.

Basically a Virtual Assistant is person who provides support to a business or individual from a remote location. A VA is expected to do any task that is done by a support staff.

Apart from these, there are quite a few jobs which do not require any special skills, but need a bit of time to complete.

  • Data entry
  • Data mining
  • Web scraping

These jobs can give you some amount of side income. However, be careful to select the right job. Some of these jobs can actually be scams. As a thumb rule, if the job asks you to make a payment or deposit before working, it could be a scam.

How much you can earn by being an online freelancer

₹1000 to ₹100000 or more, depending on how much you work and what skills you have.

Time required to start earning

You can start earning within a few days. You will be paid as soon as you complete a work.

2. Work as a Search Engine Evaluator

Did you know that you can make money from a simple thing like Google search?

Sounds crazy, right?

It’s not! That’s what a search engine evaluator does.

A Search Engine Evaluator rates and ranks websites according to guidelines given to them. They judge the search results based on their quality, relevance and usefulness.

You don’t need any specific skills to become a Search Engine Evaluator. You just need to be an active user of the internet and use Google or Microsoft products.

As a Search Engine Evaluator, you can work whenever and wherever you want as long as you have an internet connection.

Leapforce, Lionbridge and Appen are the major companies that hire Search Engine Evaluators. They pay quite well, in the range of $7 – $14 per hour depending on your country of residence.

Since the openings are limited, they have a screening process which you will have to clear. They provide trainings and guidelines on how you need to work.

For more information on being a Search Engine Evaluator, read this article on Quora.

What does a Search Engine Evaluator do?

How much you can earn being a Search Engine Evaluator

₹25000 to ₹75000 per month depending on the amount of time you work.

If you live in the US or Europe, you can earn much higher, in the range of $700 to $2000 per month.

Time required to start earning

You can start earning within a month. You will have to complete the training first, during which you will not be paid.

3. Do Affiliate marketing

You can make money when someone buys something, although you don’t make or sell that product.

How’s that possible? Let’s have a look.

Let’s say you want to buy a laptop bag. Before buying, you want to do a bit of research on which bag would be best for you. You head to google and search for best laptop bags.

You come across a site which compares various laptop bags and give a detailed review on each one. Along with the reviews, there’s also a link to a shopping site like Amazon where you can buy the bag.

After reading the reviews, you finalize a bag and click on the link. It takes you Amazon and you buy the bag online.

Now this link is an affiliate link. As soon as you click on it, Amazon (or any other site) knows where you have been referred from. When you make a purchase, a percentage is paid to the referring site as commission. There is no cost impact on you, the buyer.

It’s a win-win situation for all. You get the bag of your choice, Amazon makes a sale, and the referring site, which helped you select the bag with its detailed review, gets a commission.

This is what affiliate marketing is all about.

Pretty simple, isn’t it? Here is how you can do too:

1. Enrol into an affiliate program

You have to enroll into affiliate programs of online shopping sites such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc. Infact, almost all websites selling products or services have an affiliate program. Just google for “+affiliate”.

Some sites like Clickbank and VCommission are affiliate marketing networks and run affiliate programs of many providers. Register with them and search for the services you would like to become an affiliate of.

2. Setup your website / links

Now set up a website and put up these affiliate links. If you don’t want to create a website, you can still use the affiliate links on sites such as Facebook, Quora, YouTube, or other social media sites.

3. Promote your links

Next, you will need to promote these links so that people visit them and click on them.

When people click on this link and shop from the site, you get a commission.

Check out the infographic below to see how it works. Click on the image to enlarge it (opens in a new tab).

how affiliate marketing works
How Affiliate Marketing Works

Now why would people want to visit your site to click on these links? Well, you have to offer them something in return.

Here are a few ideas of what you can do:

  • Start a product review blog

Taking the laptop bag example above, you can start a similar blog or website where you compare, review and recommend products.

Online buyers do not have the option of physically checking the product they are buying. So, they rely on reviews. You can offer in depth, first hand and genuine reviews of products on your website, so that buyers can make an informed decision.

Select a niche which is your area of interest or expertise, so that your reviews are genuine. It also needs to have a market. If you are interested in health and fitness, you can compare, review and recommend fitness supplements along with articles on the benefits of exercise and healthy eating.

Remember, the reader needs to feel that you have added value through your article. Only then will they come to your site and click your affiliate links.

I will talk more on blogging in the section Start a Blog.

  • Recommend products on Social Media

If you are an active social media user or have a large following in any social media platform, you can use it to promote your affiliate links.

Taking the health and fitness example above, you can create a Facebook page or group for fitness enthusiasts where you discuss various fitness related topics. Use the affiliate links prudently and wherever relevant. Do not spam the group with links.

Apart from Facebook, you can also use any social media platform like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.

  • Write answers on Quora

Quora is a Q&A based platform where users ask and answer a wide variety of questions. You can answer questions related to your niche and after giving a detailed answer, put in your affiliate link, explaining how the product will help them achieve their goal.

  • Make YouTube videos to review products

YouTube is another great way of reviewing and recommending a product. You can actually show yourself using the product, so convincing someone else to use the same is that much more easier.

I will talk more on YouTube in the section Make YouTube videos.

How much you can earn by being an affiliate marketer

₹1000 – ₹100000 or more. If you can get it right, there is no limit to how much money you can make by affiliate marketing.

Time required to start earning

If you don’t have your own site and use Social Media, Quora or YouTube to publish your affiliate links, you can start earning within a few days.

If you have your own site, it can take a few months to start earning, however, the potential income is much higher, since people will keep coming back to your site to check for deals. Make sure you offer something great in return.

4. Write articles for websites and online magazines

Many websites pay writers for writing articles for them. You don’t need to be a qualified author or writer to write for these websites. You just need to come up with something good that’s suitable for the site.

Here are a few examples:

Listverse is a site which seeks unique, original lists of a Top 10 nature. They pay $100 for every list published. If you compile such a list, you can send it to them. If it gets published, you will get paid.

Glimmer Train accepts short stories and publishes a collection of them in physical form thrice a year. They encourage new writers to write for them. If selected for publication, you will get paid $700. They also hold contests for which they pay handsomely – the first-place winner gets $3000.

Oyewiki is an Indian site and a relatively new one. They accept articles on almost any topic. If your article is selected, you will be paid per view. The more people view your article, the more you earn.

You can search google for more sites which will pay you to write for them.

Here are some more ways in which you can earn online by writing:

Write for Startups

Startups need a lot of quality content for their websites and business. Company profile, tech write-ups, business plans, blogs – all are critical to a startups operations to attract clients and investors both. You can try your hand at writing for startups.

Write for blogs

Many bloggers hire writers to write for their blogs so that they can focus on other aspects of growing the blog. Articles written by you will be credited to the blog owner and you will be paid for your work. This is known as ghostwriting.

Search for writing jobs in marketplaces

There are many websites which are marketplaces for connecting writers to clients, like:

  1. Problogger
  2. Blogging Pro
  3. Flex Jobs
  4. Contena
  5. Media Bistro
  6. Morning Coffee Newsletter
  7. Writers Market
  8. All Freelance Writing
  9. Freelance Writing
  10. LinkedIn
  11. iWriter

All of the freelancer websites mentioned in the section Work as a Freelancer – Sell your Skills also lists jobs for online writers.

How much you can earn by writing on websites

₹10000 to ₹50000 depending on which site you write for and how much you write.

Time required to start earning

You can start earning within a few weeks. You will be paid when your article is accepted or published.

5. Start a Blog

blog, bloggingBlogging is one of the top most ways to make money online. However, you need to be a bit patient before the results start showing.

For most other ways of making money, like freelance work and online writing, you get paid immediately, as soon as you complete the work. When you start a blog, however, you can make lifelong earnings from the efforts of your initial few years.

If you do it right, your blog can become your greatest source of income. Once your blog takes off and becomes successful, you will be making money even when you are sleeping!

Top bloggers across the world have made blogging their profession and earn handsomely. Even here in India, some top bloggers make in excess of ₹2000000 (yes, twenty lakhs) in a month.

Impressive, huh? You can do it too!

It is very easy to start a blog. First of all, you need to select your niche. A niche is the topic you will be blogging about. For this blog, Cashing to Wealth, the niche is Personal Finance.

Once you have decided upon your niche, you can get started and have your website up and running within a few minutes.

Here is a brief outline of the steps required to start a blog:
  1. Select your niche
  2. Get your domain and hosting
  3. Select your theme and set up our website
  4. Start writing and post your articles

…….and your blog is UP!!

You will then need to promote our blog and create the right SEO strategies to drive readers to your blog. Once you have a good number of monthly visitors to your site, you can start monetizing.

The best thing about earning money by blogging is that you can monetize your blog in many ways. Here are some of them:

  • Display Ads (Adsense, other CPC/CPM ads)
  • Income from Affiliate links
  • Create products (ebooks, tutorials, etc) and sell them on your site
  • Consultancy
  • Sponsored content
  • Partnerships with brands or other bloggers

While blogging can be a truly rewarding experience, not everybody who starts a blog makes money from it. The initial period might be a bit challenging, but the efforts pay off handsomely later. The key is not to get frustrated and quit midway.

If you plan to start a blog just to make money from it, don’t. You should only start a blog if you feel you have something meaningful to share with the world. Something that will help others in some way. It can be anything as long as people find value in it.

How much you can earn by blogging

₹10000 – ₹100000 or more. If you do it right, there is no limit to how much money you can earn by blogging.

Time required to start earning

You need to be patient. It can take from a few months to a year, or more, for you to start earning from your blog.

6. Make YouTube videos

you tubeYouTube is one if the easiest ways to make money online.

Do you know how much top YouTubers made in 2017?

Here’s a snapshot from google.

highest paid Youtubers 2017

Daniel Middleton, also known as DanTDM, made $16.5 million and was the highest paid YouTuber in 2017.

That’s more than 100 crores Indian rupees! Won’t you be happy to make even a small fraction of that? I know I would!

Want to know how he did it? By playing video games!

Here’s what BBC says:

Dan TDM make money from You Tube

Now let’s see how Indians fared. The highest earning Indian YouTuber is Tanmay Bhat, co-founder of All India Bakchod (AIB). He makes $440000 a year. That’s approximately ₹3 crores!

I know, these figures are outrageously high, and it must have taken years of work to achieve them; but I am just showing you the amount of money making potential YouTube has. If you can make even 1% of this, you would be making a decent income.

Do you know the best part of all this?

These people who are making tons of money on YouTube – when they started, they were not anyone special who had things figured out for them. They were normal, average people like you and me who identified their one single talent and leveraged it to make a fortune.

So let’s see how you can get started on your journey to YouTube stardom.

First of all you need to create videos (obviously). They should be of high quality and clear in content. Edit the videos to remove superfluous stuff.

You can use your smartphone, digital camera or a webcam to create videos. You can also make a video of your computer screen using free software. For editing videos, there are plenty of free and paid software available. Just select one that works for you.

Once you are ready with your video, create your YouTube channel and upload it there. Write a good title and description so that people can easily find your video and would want to watch it.

Certain types of videos tend to attract more viewers:

  • Funny videos
  • Informative and Educational videos
  • Videos that gives rise to an emotion; like love, compassion, fear, anger (be careful with negative emotions like fear and anger – if not done correctly, they can drive your viewers away)
  • Cooking and recipes videos
  • Videos related to entertainment; like sports clips, movie clips, music videos (make sure you are not making any copyright infringements)

Just like in blogging, you would be better off selecting a niche and posting videos related to that niche. It would be easier to get subscriptions to your channel that way, since people interested in your niche would like to see your videos.

Also like in blogging, you can monetize your YouTube channel in many ways. Here are some of the ways:

  • Adsense
  • Sponsored videos
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Paid videos / paid channel

How much you can earn by making YouTube videos

₹10000 to ₹100000 or more.

If you can produce great videos and get a big subscriber base, there is no limit to how much you can earn from YouTube videos.

Time required to start earning

You can start earning within a few days to a few weeks.

7. Be an Online reseller or Dropshipper

India is one of the fastest growing ecommerce markets in the world, with millions of new customer being added every year.

In such a scenario, selling online is quite a lucrative way to make money online.

With big marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and eBay, you don’t even need to create a website to sell things online.

For a small fee, these marketplaces even do all the logistics for you – storing, handling, shipping, and delivery. Also, payments will be handled by them. That’s life made a lot easier 😉 Make sure you enroll for FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) if you sell on Amazon or a similar service with the marketplace of your choice.

Even if you do want our own website, it’s very easy to create one using platforms like Shopify. That way, you will have multiple channels to sell your products – through your own site, as well as through the big marketplaces.

If you’re wondering what could you probably sell and how do you go about procuring your stuff, relax. One of the world’s biggest wholesale markets is at the tip of your fingers – Alibaba

Many other wholesale dealers also have an online presence. Just search the internet for wholesale dealers of the product you want to sell.

You just have to order your inventory from the wholesaler and get it delivered to the warehouse of your ecommerce marketplace. After that you can focus on promoting your products so that you can make sales.

Check out the infographic below to see how it works. Click on the image to enlarge it (opens in a new tab).

how to be an online reseller
How to be an Online Reseller

Now, in order to procure you inventory, you will need some initial capital which you have invest. If you do not want to invest much, there is another way to do it which is much faster to start up – Dropshipping.

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a method where you do not own the products you sell. That is, you do not have any inventory of the products you are selling online. When a product is sold, you purchase it from another party – a manufacturer, wholesaler, or a third party – who delivers the goods directly to the customer.

As in the previous case, you do not need to handle the product, nor do you need to take care of the logistics. However, in this case, the added advantage is that you don’t need to purchase inventory upfront, so you can start your business with a lot less funds.

Check out the infographic below to see how it works. Click on the image to enlarge it (opens in a new tab).

how dropshipping works, dropshiiping model, what is dropshipping
How Dropshipping works
Do your research

You need to do a bit of research on what you are going to sell. Typically, items that sell well online are apparels, fashion accessories, beauty and health products, baby products, electronics, mobiles and accessories, home and kitchen products, and books.

Additionally, try not to sell products that are too pricey, since after a certain price point, customers might not want to buy online or might want to buy from a big brand.

Once you select your product, do some research on how much customers would be willing to spend online on that product. One way to do this research is to pose as a buyer yourself and ask questions on social media or sites like Quora. Also, check out the buyer reviews on Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal to figure out what buyers are saying about similar products.

Once you get a general idea about the mindset of your potential buyers, you can plan your strategy and pricing accordingly.

Remember, if you plan to sell online, doing prior market research is probably the most important step of your business plan.

For more information, inspiration and tips on how to sell online, read these articles.

Amazon selling tips for new sellers

Marketplace Millionaire

How much you can earn as an online reseller

₹5000 to ₹100000 or more. It depends on the product you are selling, your initial investment and how much hard work you put in.

Time required to start earning

You can start earning within a few days to a few weeks.

8 Teach Online

You can teach anything online.

If you are a teacher by profession, then this one is definitely for you.

Even if you are not a teacher, think of something that you are good at, or have an in-depth knowledge of. You can teach that online.

A wide variety if courses are taught online, which include academic courses, vocational courses, fitness, health, personal development, business and entrepreneurship, digital marketing, productivity, programming and development, IT and software, arts and music, lifestyle, photography, finance, languages, and many more.

There are many online platforms where you can teach, like Udemy, Skillshare, Transtutors, which are global sites and have a global audience. There are Indian sites also, like Vedantu, which caters more towards the Indian school’s curriculum.

Depending on what you want to teach, you can either create a video course or go for a one to one mentoring program.

If you create a video course and sell on sites like Udemy or Skillshare, you will get a global audience and every time someone buys your course, you will make money.

In order to be really successful as an online tutor, you will need to promote your courses on social media sites and sites like YouTube and Quora.

How much you can earn as an online tutor

₹10000 to ₹75000 per month if you teach on academic sites like Vedantu.

$5000 per month or more if teach on global sites like Udemy, Skillshare and Transtutors.

Time required to start earning

You can start earning within a few weeks.

9. Do Micro jobs

Micro jobs are small, simple tasks that can be done by anyone having a bit of spare time.

Most of them are easy to tasks and don’t take much time, like

  • Online surveys
  • Audio or video transcriptions
  • Excel spreadsheet tasks
  • YouTube video rating
  • Getting likes and follows for Facebook pages

The pay for these jobs are not much, but since they are not time consuming, you can do a lot of them in one sitting if you spend a few hours working.

Micro jobs can be a good way to earn a small amount of side income, especially when you are just starting out your online money-making career. They are similar to freelancer jobs, but with a lower pay.

Most of the freelancer websites also list micro jobs.

Some of the sites where you can find micro jobs are:

  1. Amazon Mechanical Turks
  2. Fiverr
  3. Freelancer
  4. Upwork
  5. Guru
  6. PeoplePerHour

You can search Google for more micro job opportunities.

I made my first few online incomes doing micro jobs.

I made $4 from Fiverr by writing a few lines on a website and sharing it on my Facebook page. Later, I made $12 for adding about 500 people to a Facebook group.

make money from Fiverr

On Freelancer, my first income was for formatting a Word document.

All of them were simple jobs and took very little time finish.

Yes, the income was not big, but a thousand rupees or so of extra income in a month for a few hours spent is not bad, is it?

How much you can earn doing online micro jobs

₹500 to ₹10000 per month depending on how much you work.

Time required to start earning

You can start earning almost immediately.

Time to start earning money online

So, these are the 9 ways to make money online that I think can be done by anyone. However, it is up to you to act now and execute these ideas. Try out the one that you are most comfortable with.

Please don’t try to execute multiple ideas all at once. You will not succeed in any of them. Take up one idea and execute it. Be patient, give yourself some time – at least a year – to let the results show. Don’t get frustrated and jump from one idea to another.

Do you know of any other ways to make money online? Let me know in comments or by email.

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