30 Clever Ways to Make Money Online

04/28/2015 04:11 pm ET | Updated Jun 27, 2015


By Bill Pirraglia, Contributor

You have no doubt heard or read about making money online with your desktop PC or laptop. You may also realize that many of these ads, whether online or tacked to a telephone pole, are bogus. The catch is typically that you have to send to learn how or register with these companies, and often these offers are outright scams.

However, there are legitimate websites and organizations that will pay you fairly for your work. Most of these sites offer low compensation but are also low-investment, so at least your bank account does not start in the hole before you have earned a dime. Here are 30 ideas to start making money online.

1. Get Paid to Take Surveys

Do you enjoy taking surveys? Some companies will pay people to take surveys so that they can gather valuable consumer and user data. It might not be the most interesting way to make a buck, but you can find websites like that offer cash for your opinions.

2. Create a Winning Blog

Writing entertaining, interesting blog posts can generate cash for you through ads, affiliate links and other revenue options. Your blogging success will depend on your writing talent, whether your blog covers a popular subject and the popularity of the links you include (whether backlinks or pay-per-click links, like Google AdWords).

3. Sell Your Stuff on eBay or a Similar Outlet

The dramatic growth and success of eBay has spawned many competitors featuring auctions or online marketplaces for diverse items. Whether you want to clean out your closet and sell your designer clothing online, or develop a high-volume online store, you can make extra money or big dollars on these sites.

4. Sign up for Amazon Mechanical Turk.

You probably will not get rich completing typical tasks for the "Turk," but you can make extra income if you are willing to perform simple tasks for clients.

5. Sell Older Electronics

Do you have a compute, laptop or cell phone you no longer use? These and other tech items, although built with former generation features, often have value to others.

6. List Household Items on Craigslist

Free to join and devoid of listing or selling fees, Craigslist sales can be local or national. From kitchenware to baby furniture to jobs, you can list almost anything for sale on this site.

7. Self-Publish Kindle Digital Books

IIf you love to write and believe you can write an entertaining fiction or non-fiction book, consider authoring and publishing a digital book through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform.

8. Create Niche Websites Featuring Google AdSense Ads

Creating popular niche sites can grab visitors looking for specialized information, and adding Google AdSense advertising links can be a great way to monetize the site.

9. Upload YouTube Videos and Get Paid for Ad Views

You don't need to invest in expensive video equipment. Just learn how to use your smartphone’s video capability to upload entertaining or informative videos and opt to have ads play before your videos to get a bit of cash for each video view — that's how YouTube star PewDiePie earned $4 million in one year.

10. Design useful apps for mobile devices

If you design a wildly popular app (which is harder than it sounds), you might be pleasantly surprised with the income they generate. Offering one or more apps at the iTunes or Android app store gives your creations wide exposure to prospects, and income can be generated by charging for the app, displaying in-app ads, or charging for in-app features and upgrades.

11. Sell Your Time and Talents

A site such as Fiverr promotes members’ talent in multiple disciplines and connects them to people looking to pay for those skills. For example, should you be a digital photo editing guru, you might find freelance projects you can complete for compensation.

12. Sell the Use of Your Photos, Videos and Other Media

Some sites allow you to sell your prized photos, video b-roll, original music or illustrations, while giving you the option of licensing resale rights for free. This will give you royalties for each use of your photos, videos or music and result in longer-term residual income.

13. Sell Your Original Instagram Photos for Profit

While you can share your social media photos on Instagram, you can also sell prints of your photos for profit on and similar sites.

14. Sell Your Knowledge on a Website

Do you have in depth expertise about a specific hobby or any other subject? You could create a website that offers your expertise to others for a price, like offering a music lesson over Skype for a fee or charging for access to a series of video lessons on gardening. You can make extra income or become wildly successful with this method of making money online.

15. Become an Amazon Associate

This program allows you to earn money by including affiliate links to different products offered by Amazon. When a visitor views your blogs or social media pages and clicks through the Amazon links on your site, you will earn commissions from Amazon on products bought during that session.

16. Become an Internet Life Coach

Because of the strong interest in quality of life and work-life balance issues, life coaches have become popular in recent years. Unlike the intellectual demands of becoming a technical or executive coach, life coaching can be successful if you possess common sense, a respect for family and a commitment to enjoy life to the max every day and helping others do the same.

17. Promote Commercial Organizations on Social Media Pages

Many major retailers will pay you for promoting their businesses on your websites and social media pages. For example, electronics retailer Best Buy offers gift cards and products for people promoting Best Buy’s products on their blogs or social media pages.

18. Promote Businesses, Products and Services Via Affiliate Programs

If you have a website or blog site, you can make money through affiliations with other businesses and sites, which will pay a percentage of sales you generate for the affiliate company.

19. Sell Handmade Items and Crafts Online

For those who like to make handcrafted items, websites such as Etsy are ideal to make some money off of such hobbies. Dedicated handcrafters should check Etsy and similar sites to find the best fit for their products.

20. Become a Virtual Assistant

There are freelance sites, such as the popular oDesk, that often have jobs for virtual assistants. Just as with physical assistant positions, you will get paid for helping executives with a wide variety of tasks.

21. Become a Freelance Writer

Do you have a passion for writing? Do you believe you have some writing talent? If earning money by writing gets your blood moving, there are numerous websites offering assignments for aspiring and experienced writers alike.

22. Sell Customized T-shirts Online

Selling graphic t-shirts is big business. Customized t-shirts with clever sayings or graphics are ideal for online sales. Sites like Teespring allow you to sell customer shirts. Teespring's unique model allows you to design the shirt, get buyers lined up to purchase, and then actually produces the design and ship it to buyers. This save you from the initial investment in stock and the time on processing and shipping orders, though you'll likely make a smaller profit on each shirt sold.

23. Become a Third-Party Seller on Amazon

If you’ve visited Amazon, you have seen products sold by third-parties with the comment “ships from Amazon.” These are sellers who send their products to Amazon fulfillment facilities, then Amazon lists the item and ships it when a buyer is found. It's a great way to resell like-new items like video games, textbooks and more.

24. Buy Local and Resell Online

Another great way to make money is to find things in your area that are free or cheap and then sell them online. Many people hunt through local thrift stores for rare collectibles, vintage styles or cheap-as-dirt books or media to mark up and resell online.

25. Design Websites for a Fee

If you have an interest or skill in web development, there is a big demand for designers to build winning sites for businesses or organizations. Sites like are a good place to start to find clients and build your portfolio.

26. Promote Products on Your Website

Sites like SocialSpark offer bloggers cash or free trips for authoring and posting original copy about products or services to their sites.Just make sure to pay attention to FCC disclosure requirements when you're getting paid to promote.

27. Buy Domain Names for Resale

Some people have made big dollars by owning desired domains and selling them to hungry buyers. For a minimum investment of buying domain names you feel will be popular (typically $10 to $20), you might make a big profit selling it down the line.

28. Rent Available Space in Your Driveway or Reserved Parking Spot

Parking is at a premium in most thriving cities. Renting an unused space in your driveway or vacant deeded parking space can generate additional income. Advertising availability on Craigslist exposes this opportunity to local people, and up-and-coming apps like JustPark and Park Circa also allow you to easily rent out your parking space when it's not in use.

29. Provide Online Tutoring

Sites like and will connect you with people looking for help learning a subject, and you might be in particularly high demand if you're good with math, science or a foreign language. You have to go through an application process, and once you're approved you can start getting paid.

30. Teach an Online Course

Sites like Udemy connect experts with people willing to pay to learn from them. Running an online course can get you $200 a month or more if you promote your courses well, reports Udemy.

This article originally appeared on 30 Clever Ways to Make Money Online