There’s many ways you can make money online. But before you get started, consider the following:
- Income: are you perusing a full time income, an extra income, or just some quick cash?
- Time: how much time can you dedicate?
- Risk: what can you afford to lose?
Assessing these three factors will help you decide what online money-making endeavour is best for you.
1. Monetise Your Content
It takes real graft to develop (and sustain) a profitable platform — such as a website or YouTube channel. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.
But there’s so many different ways to convert traffic into income that content monetisation fully deserves the #1 spot on this list.
So how do you monetise content?
Good question. There’s five general approaches I discuss on this website:
- Affiliate Marketing. Earn a commission by referring customers to a product via a unique tracking link assigned to you.
- Paid Advertising. Advertise something on your site in return for a payment. Often presented in the form of banners, text links, images, guest posts, or product reviews.
- Services. Earn by providing a service through your site. Courses & tutorials,
consulting, freelance writing and design/branding all fall into this category.
- Selling Products. There are numerous products — physical and digital — you might decide to sell via your website. Many online shops use the Woocommerce or Shopify plugins for WordPress.
- Selling Itself. Build up a site’s value, sell it, and repeat. This approach is used by SEO’s with the knowledge to generate a steady flow of organic traffic.
Website monetisation spreads a wide net, so I’ve written a more specific post all about it here: How Websites Earn Money (Top 5 List).
I encourage you to read my full post in order to fully appreciate both the earning potential and level of dedication/involvement required for this approach.
Is Content Monetisation for You?
- Income: the possibilities are seemingly endless, as online businesses have no geographical bounds and are “always on”, running 24/7. You might start out by focusing on one income stream, and diversify into another. Multiple streams can be running simultaneously, spanning different countries and audiences.
- Time: it’s time consuming and challenging; you’ll have to invest a lot of hours into learning ways of generating traffic and converting sales. Persistence, as well as the ability to identify unsaturated markets, is vital for building a sustainable online business.
- Risk: running a successful website or channel usually involves some form of monetary investment. Professional hosting services, physical equipment, PPC advertising campaigns, freelancers, SEO specialists or other employees, rack up costs. To reduce these costs, read through my posts from the Online Business and Marketing & Strategy sections of this blog.
2. Matched Betting
Matched Betting is a simple method for earning tax-free profits from the free bets & promotions given by online bookmakers. It’s a great way to raise some extra cash.
Learn more from my post How To Make Money From Matched Betting.
Surprisingly, Matched Betting has been going on for many years without the opportunity dying out. It seems that bookmakers generate so much money from their losing customers that it’s still viable for them to take a hit from a small minority of profitable, savvy punters that exploit their bonuses.
While the opportunity remains, I highly recommend that you sign up to one of the top Matched Betting Websites — like OddsMonkey. They provide the software, daily offers (free bets, promotions, bonuses), beginner’s guides, and ongoing support to help you sustain a secondary online income. As it stands, you’ll be able to earn £500-1,000 within your first month of Matched Betting.
Is Matched Betting for You?
- Income: the amount you make from Matched Betting is dependent on how generous the bookmakers are in giving bonuses, and how many of them you decide to tackle. Therefore it’s limited. But regardless, if you follow the steps, you’ll definitely earn profit from it.
- Time: once you spend an evening following the OddsMonkey tutorials, you’ll be able to make an extra income by placing a few risk-free bets of an evening, or over your weekends. It’s not very time consuming once you get the hang of it. It’s well worth the time.
- Risk: the amazing thing about Matched Betting is that it’s risk free (provided you don’t make mistakes). It’s one of the top ways to earn online — yet many people remain sceptical just because it involves “online gambling”. Read my Matched Betting tutorial for a full explanation.
3. Peer-to-Peer Money Lending
Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) is an simple way for people to lend money to individuals or businesses. If you’re a lender, you’ll receive interest as your loan is repaid.
P2P lending is not going to set you up for life. But if you have spare funds, it’s a great way to put it to work. I recommend using Ratesetter for its simplicity and security.
When you invest £1,000+ for 1 year in any of our markets.
Terms & conditions apply. Capital at Risk. No FSCS.
Ratesetter provides an experience that’s as simple as putting money into a regular savings account. You don’t have any interaction with the person (or people) receiving your loan.
Simply set up an account, deposit funds, set a loan duration, and receive a return on investment. Currently the annual rates are 6.4% for 5 year, and 4.2% for 1 year loans.
Ratesetter automatically allocates your money to borrowers and aims to cover any late repayments automatically through a compensation fund. Thus far nobody has ever lost their investment on Ratesetter. However, I should point out that your capital is at risk — money lending is an investment like any other.
Is Peer-to-Peer Money Lending for You?
- Income: the 30 day average of the 5 Year market is 6.0% (as of 01/10/2018), versus a 1.32% Interest rate of UK two year fixed rate cash ISAs. Source: Bank of England 31/08/2018. However, the investment is suited to those with a decent amount of spare cash.
- Time: Ratesetter is completely automated so that repaid money is recycled. This maximises your ROI over time. There’s nothing you need to do after the initial set up — which is great.
- Risk: your investment is not guaranteed. Ratesetter are however confident that the Provision Fund will cover expected defaults (Learn more). It remains a lot safer than other, more hands on P2P lending sites, such as Funding Circle.
4. Menial Tasks
If you don’t have the time or resources to tackle a highly ambitious project, then there’s numerous ways you can make extra money online by doing menial, low skilled tasks.
Testing, reviewing, and providing feedback for products is the most obvious route. There’s no shortage of companies looking to research their market.
Here’s some sites to help get you started:
- Toluna. Receive free products for testing. If you are selected to test a product then it will be sent out to your address. You keep the items in exchange for filling in a short survey about what you thought of the product.
- UserTesting. You’ll need to complete a test review to begin with. If you’re verified, then you are invited to review products from time to time. You get paid $10 to your PayPal for every review you do, which takes around 20 minutes.
- Pincecone. Answer surveys and from time to time you might be asked to test a product. It’s fairly popular, so invites are sparse.
- CrowdVille. Discover the latest apps, and get paid for testing them. Once you’ve signed up to and completed your profile, you need to join a ‘mission’, where you’ll receive further details.
- SwagBucks. Allow users to earn points and rewards (e.g. gift cards) for filling in surveys, watching promotional videos, shopping online — generally helping out with product marketing.
If you’re fast at data entry, you could also look into “comping”. That’s where you enter as many online competitions as possible in order to maximise your chances of winners. Dedicated compers often win gadgets, lavish holidays or thousands of pounds in cash — all without spending a penny.
With any of these endeavours, be selective: don’t waste your time on menial tasks where the input doesn’t justify the output.
Is Doing Menial Tasks for You?
- Income: you won’t make yourself a millionaire by filling in forms and and testing products. But if you’re a serial procrastinator, and often find yourself reading gossip or scrolling through memes, then it’s a far more productive way to spend your time online.
- Time: spend as much or little time as you want. If you get fast at data entry you ought to be able to justify the time you put in.
- Risk: there’s no real risk here. Although you could, perhaps, apply yourself to something more profitable (e.g. Matched Betting).
5. Art & Entertainment
Video, podcasts, storytelling, graphic design and other forms of art & entertainment can directly, or indirectly, generate an online income.
Just think: two decades ago you would’ve struggled to showcase your talents. Nowadays you can upload your content and reach out to the the entire world via portable devices. Use that to your advantage.
If you’re an aspiring musician, for example, you can raise awareness of your music and upcoming gigs by uploading your recordings to Sound Cloud — or even Spotify. Some artists have made themselves famous from doing just that; it’s the modern way.
There’s several new-age entertainment industries, too. Computer game streaming/recording is one of them. Many hardcore gamers generate a full-time income from both sponsorship deals, and Youtube itself. It might sound like a pipe-dream, but the gaming spectator scene has really boomed over the last 5 years, as have many other modern interests.
Now’s the time, more than ever before, to carve your niche.
Is Art & Entertainment for You?
- Income: like everything, the most talented, dedicated individuals stand the best chance of earning. The upsides are huge. Many people have successfully made themselves both rich and famous off the back of content they’ve created.
- Time: to succeed, you need to stand out. It requires drive and devotion to develop your own style. Creating entertaining, unique content is by no means straightforward.
- Risk: the risk lies in neglecting your online presence, not creating it. Broadening your audience is essential.