Making money online from the comfort of your home sounds like a dream come true, and it can be easy to think it can’t be done without a major investment or special skills. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
There are actually quite a lot of things you can do to make some extra money online that don’t require you to have an amazing talent or business know-how. In a lot of cases, you don’t even need to invest money to get started. I've started from zero myself and I'm here to walk you through the process.
To show you some of the possibilities, I’ve made a list of tried-and-true methods for making money online as a beginner, and there's something here for everyone.
11 Ways for Beginners to Make Money Online
Here are 11 creative, yet simple ideas for beginners to make money online – no special talents or big budgets necessary!
1. Start a Blog and Use Affiliate Links
Lots of different brands run affiliate programs that allow individuals to sign up and receive unique links. Anytime someone buys a product using one of those links, you’ll get a small portion of the sale.
Starting a blog on a topic you’re interested in is a great way to publish your affiliate links. You’ll see lots of cooking, baking, and crafts blogs using affiliate links to recommend their favorite tools and products.
You can also sign up for the Amazon affiliate program and use links for literally any product in the Amazon catalog. With so many options to choose from, you can write about just about anything.
Keep in mind that without traffic, your blog won't make any money. This will probably be a side hustle until you grow it big enough to generate traffic and link clicks. Fortunately, though, there are plenty of ways to market yourself for free.
2. Become an Online Tutor
Whether you were an avid student in high school or have developed specialized knowledge in adulthood, everyone has some kind of expertise they can pass on to others. From school subjects to musical instruments, languages, or career skills, any knowledge can be profitable.
Signing up for a tutoring agency or even starting your own tutoring business is possible. Plus, with online video calls, you can begin to earn money through teaching without ever leaving your house.
There are also lots of agencies that accept community tutors, a casual type of tutoring job that doesn’t require you to have teaching experience or qualifications in your subject in order to get clients.
3. Sell Your Old or Unwanted Items
This has been a go-to online money-making idea since the rise of eBay, and it’s just as popular as ever. Old games, clothes, toys, kitchen appliances, and even jewelry or furniture – pretty much anything goes when it comes to selling second-hand items.
Depending on the kind of items you want to sell and how much of them you have, you could use online auction platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace, or make your own website to showcase your goods. The latter is a better idea if you hope to sell frequently.
A good thing about this idea is that it requires next to no investment or time to start selling, and you don’t even need to buy or make your products. Plus, it’s a form of recycling, so it’s even good for the environment as well.
4. Complete Online Surveys
If you’re looking for just a little extra cash with zero commitment and very little effort, online surveys could be the thing for you. They’ve been around for a while and there are many different services to sign up for, but you do need to complete high volumes to get decent money.
This idea is usually great for stay-at-home parents or pensioners who can quickly and easily complete surveys while doing other things around the house. However, even if you have a lot of free time to spend, you’ll never make crazy amounts of money with this idea.
It’s definitely a low-effort, low-reward option, so bear that in mind. A similar idea is taking part in market research, which usually pays better, but the opportunities are limited.
5. Start a Crafting Business
If you have any creative hobbies or talents, selling your crafts online can be a fun but manageable way to make money. You can find buyers on auction sites, social media, or sites aimed specifically at homemade goods, such as Etsy. Many types of items come under the category of “crafts,” including jewelry, greetings cards, decorations, accessories, paper crafts, and trinkets.
You can specialize in a particular item, or branch out and offer an assortment of goods. This idea is flexible in that you can put as much or as little time into it as you want. You can make products to meet demand, or you can just sell whatever amount you happened to make that month. Over time, this might evolve into a full-on craft business.
With Pay.com, you can accept credit card payments no matter where you conduct your business. If you work over Facebook, you can send direct Pay Links to a secure online checkout page. Alternatively, if you take orders over the phone, you can use the Virtual Terminal to manually enter payment details.
6. Upload Designs to Print-On-Demand Sites
If you’re into art or graphic design, you can make money by making an account and uploading designs to a print-on-demand service like Redbubble. Customers around the world can buy mugs, tshirts, phone cases, and magnets with your designs printed on them.
Other than uploading your work, there’s really not a lot of effort involved in the process. Once someone places an order, the site will make and ship the product, and you’ll receive a royalty.
In reality, you don’t even have to be that artistic to take advantage of this idea. Silly jokes, funny phrases, or meaningful quotes can also become popular designs that don’t require drawing skills to create.
7. Resell Good Yard Sale Finds
Reselling items you buy for cheap is a savvy and easy way to make money online and is particularly suited for antique collectors and yard sale enthusiasts. By using your knowledge of items you find out in the wild, simply purchase the item and sell it at a profit.
Since you’re buying your stock from somewhere else and hoping you can make a profit on it, there may be times when your guess is a little off and you end up making a loss. However, the more you sell, the more knowledge you’ll gain, so it can be quite a lucrative idea.
You can use auction sites like eBay to sell your wares, but you can also look for potential customers on Facebook and other online communities.
8. Do Some Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is a full-time career for some, but you don’t need to be a world-class writer or have specialist knowledge to make a few extra bucks on the side. Small and easy writing jobs can be found all over the place on sites like Upwork, or communities like Reddit.
Some people will want help with their blog content, and it won't always be difficult to write. With a little bit of research, you’ll be able to write about quite a lot of different topics.
If you’re lucky, you might also be able to find jobs that align with your interests, making it a lot more fun to work. However, unless you find a steady employer, you may have to look for multiple new jobs each month, and that can take some time.
9. Sell Niche Overseas Products
Bringing in popular foreign products to sell in your country can be a great way to fill a gap in the market. From food to merchandise, there are plenty of options to choose from in this area.
Two popular examples are Asian food and stationery. There are companies specializing in these kinds of products, either by selling items separately, or putting together sets and gift boxes centering around different themes.
British candy is another easy option, and you could easily make your own website to showcase and sell your products without paying fees to sites like eBay.
10. Create an Online Course
Similar to tutoring, creating an online course to sell online is another more creative money-making option. Knowing your strengths is an important factor in many of these ideas, and it’s important to remember the amount of niche knowledge and hobbies out there on the internet.
If your first reaction is to assume you don’t know anything worth teaching, make sure to give it a little more thought before you reject the idea. Courses on Udemy can vary from specialized subjects like computer programming to classes on making the perfect sourdough starter or how to organize your kitchen.
No knowledge is useless knowledge, and most people have something they can share with the world. Putting together a course is as simple as recording some videos and creating slideshows to pass on your knowledge to the viewers who buy your course.
11. Put Together and Sell Make-Your-Own Kits
There are many items in the world that are difficult to buy in small amounts. When you think of a project that requires many different parts or ingredients in small amounts, it can become wasteful and expensive to buy more than you need.
To help people in this position, you can make a business buying the products in bulk and arranging them into DIY kits with just the right amounts needed. An easy idea for this is crafting, such as felting kits that come with the right amount of felt in each color to complete a specific project.
Another option is food kits: weighing out the right amount of each ingredient needed to make a certain recipe. This is a more difficult option though, as your products have a specific shelf life and need to sell more quickly.
The Best Way to Receive Payments Online
One of the best ways to receive payments online is to sign up for Pay.com. With an easy onboarding process and fast approval, you can start accepting credit card payments on your own website quickly.
You can also receive payments online even if you don’t have your own website, by sending your customers direct Pay Links. You can send a Pay Link over email or a messaging service, and it will take your customers to a secure checkout page to make their payment.
Pay.com has a super user-friendly interface that’s simple for both experienced merchants and beginners to use, no matter how small your business is.
The Bottom Line
There are lots of different options when it comes to making money online as a beginner. Whether you want to think up something a little creative or find quick and easy jobs that don’t require a lot of attention, there’s something for everyone.
Not every idea will generate the same amount of money, but with a little effort, you could set up a significant source of extra income for yourself.