41 Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online Today (No Scams)

Filed in Affiliate Marketing, Amazon, Blogging, Case Studies by on August 6, 2017

I’ll be honest with you.

Until I actually started making money online myself, I believed it was just a myth,

I really believed there were only scams with no legitimate ways to make money online.

A dream that’s just too good to be true. A big scam that lures people into wasting their hard earned money.

But here I am, like thousands of others around the world, actually making a full-time living from my laptop for the last 5 years now (yep, I can't believe I have an online business either sometimes).

The making money online scams you fear are real, and they’re really tempting. But there are many clean and legitimate ways to make money online as well...

From the outside, it can be really confusing how ordinary people can build four, five, six and even seven figure businesses without even having an office building or a permanent workspace.

But it becomes clearer once you dig deeper and study the different online business models individually and the different online business ideas available.

In this post, I’ll give you a brief introduction to several ways you can make a full-time living on the web and share some simple online business ideas with you (even if you’re a total beginner).

However, unlike many other posts on this topic, I’ll focus ONLY on real business models that are sustainable in the long run and have the potential to replace your day-job.

So don’t expect to see methods like “filling surveys”, "gambling" or "crypto" (or worse “selling your organs”) on this list.

Now let me share 41 genuine online business ideas and opportunities with you...

(RELATED: Not sure which money making method is right for you? Pick one from the proven Business Idea Blueprints in NicheHacks Insider)

What You'll Learn About Making Money Online In This Post:

  • An introduction to more than 40 legitimate ways to make money online and long term online business models and opportunities (there are no make money online scams here).
  • How to monetize your existing skills to make money from the internet.
  • How to generate a full-time income without even having your own product to sell.
  • Why you don't need a product to start an eCommerce business (let alone any other online business).
  • How to build a thriving online business without an email list or existing audience.

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

But First; Keep These Points In Mind If You Want To Make Money Online

Before we go into the details of the 41 legit ways to make money online I want you to remember a few things that will keep you on the right track and away from scams...

To Make Money Online You Need To Treat It Like A Real Business (Even If You Only Work Part Time On It)

Which means you need to give it the respect it deserves. There’s no mystery in it.

Just like real businesses, you need to identify a need or a gap in the market and provide a solution to make money. There are no easy money shortcuts online sadly (I wish there was too but I learned the hard way that it's not true)

Let me repeat that again as it's so often overlooked or ignored...

If you want to make money on the internet you have to focus on coming up with a legitimate online business idea, and thankfully because of the power of automation it can be something you do in your spare time.

Too many people think that somehow the internet differs from real life and there's easy money to be made without any work at all, there really isn't.

Especially not in the long term. If you want to make real, life changing, money online you have to focus on building an online business that provides real value to people.

The good news? It's not as hard as you may think which you'll discover below in a second...

It Requires Hard Work

An online business has the potential to work on auto-pilot, but that only happens after you invest hours of hard work into creating a self-sustaining system.

So if you come across a supposed online business idea that allegedly requires "no work" or is "fast and easy" or sounds too good to be true, run a mile.

All the real online business models that actually work and will make you money require time, effort and a (often small) amount of capital from yourself.

You Won’t Become a Millionaire Overnight

“But I just heard from Guru XYZ how he went from being a broke farmer with zero computer knowledge to becoming a seven-figure internet marketer in a matter of hours”

You’ll find exceptional success stories in every business

But online business plans based on flukes and exceptions rarely succeed. So only bother reading this post if you’re in this for the long-run.

You Don’t Need to Know Everything to Make Money

Nobody knows everything, even the wildly successful marketers that you want to emulate.

All you need to know about your topic is more than the people you're teaching. If you're even just one step ahead of them you already know more than them..and that's enough to teach them.

It's simply about understanding your target market. If you're relatively new to the subject or intermediate level you wouldn't try to market to experts but to newbies only.

And all you need to know to get started and progressing is the next step. Figure out what you have to do next then learn it and put it into action then learn the next stage after you're done.

You cannot learn everything at once BEFORE you start because it's impossible. You'll never know everything anyway. Not even the experts know everything.

So let's move on to the 41 legit ways to make money online...

41 Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online (And Avoid The Scams)

With that mandatory disclaimer out of the way, let's jump right into the business end of this post.

1. Make a Living as a Freelancer

If you have a skill that can add value to other people’s businesses, you can become a freelancer right now. Freelancing is simply trading your time for money.

It’s not a passive income source (unless you have people working for you). But it’s the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to making money online.

Which is why more than 35% of the total U.S workforce is freelance (a number that’s expected to reach 50% by 2020)

Source: Upwork

If you haven’t made a penny on the web yet, freelancing is the best place to start.

But don’t underestimate its earning potential.

According to a survey by Contently, the majority of the full-time freelancers made at least $30,000 in 2016.

That's not a big deal, I know

But when you look close, you'll find that these results are slightly skewed since there’s no income breakdown according to skills.

As a freelancer for several years myself, I can tell you that your income mainly depends on your skillset and your brand image.

For example, the monthly income of a freelance graphic designer or a programmer or a high-quality copywriter is usually 4-5x higher than a freelancer offering translation or data entry services.

But above all, it's the independence of working on your own terms that drives most freelancers to this business model. Studies show that 50% aren't prepared to give up the freelance lifestyle for any amount of money.

freelancing freelance writing

Source: ResumeWritingLab

Like everything else, it takes time to build a profitable freelancing business.

But the effort is well worth it.

(RELATED: There's 10+ Business Idea Blueprints you can emulate inside NicheHacks Insider)

Services You Can Offer as a Freelancer

How about becoming a professional prankster?

People offer all sorts of crazy services.

But since we’re talking about long-term earning methods only, here are a few services you can offer as a freelancer and make a career out of them.

1.1 Freelance Blogger – Writing blog posts for other blogs like I do

1.2 Freelance Guest Blogger – Writing guest posts for your clients on other blogs

1.3 Freelance Ghostwriter – Writing articles, blog posts, books etc. without putting your name on it

1.4 Freelance Writer – General writing projects like press releases, eBooks, articles, manuals, magazine articles, technical writing etc.

1.5 Freelance Copywriter – Marketing copy for websites, landing pages, emails etc.

1.6 Freelance Web/Graphic Designer – Designing websites, logos, banners, social media images etc.

1.7 Freelance Programmer – Creating software

1.8 Freelance App Developer – Mobile apps for Android, iOS, Windows phones

1.9 Freelance Virtual Assistant – Assist your client in daily activities like responding to emails, prioritizing tasks, doing other non-business tasks.

1.10 Freelance Social Media Marketer – Managing social media accounts for your clients

1.11 Freelance Search Engine Optimizer (SEO) – Optimizing content and web pages for Google Search

1.12 Freelance Search Marketer (Google AdWords/Bing etc.) – Running and managing paid ad campaigns.

Ways to Find Freelance Projects

According to a survey by Payoneer, here’s how most freelancers find work on the web.

Online marketplaces and direct clients are two of the biggest job sources for freelancers, which is not surprising.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of freelance marketplaces since there’s a lot of cheap competition on these platforms. I get all my clients from my own website, referrals, and through guest posts that I’ve published on other leading industry blogs

I prefer direct clients because in that case the business is chasing me and I get to choose my own rates. You can learn more about this strategy in this epic post by James

If you're looking to get clients directly, having a strong brand image and a well-populated portfolio is also important.

Source: Due

As for the different freelance portals, they do offer a steady inflow of projects if you can establish yourself as a reliable freelancer. The rates also improve once you start getting more positive client feedback.

But it takes time.

However, for most beginners, it's a good place to start.

Here are some of the top freelance job websites you can sign up for

General Freelance Jobs

Blogging/Writing/Editing and Content Marketing Jobs

Web and Graphic Design Specific Portals

Programming Specific Jobs


There must be hundreds of other freelance job portals, but I’ve listed the ones I personally know.

Freelancing is a real and legitimate way to build your career online. But it does require patience dedication and a lot of hard work.

If you’re willing to do that, there’s a lot of money waiting for you on the other side.

(RELATED: Affiliate Marketing? Blogging? Membership Sites? Amazon? Which business model to choose? It's made simple with NicheHacks Insider)

The Pros and Cons of Freelancing



Low entry barrier, anyone can start freelancing High competition on all freelance marketplace websites
You can start making money from day one Not a passive source of income.
You can work on your own terms Scaling a freelance business is hard work
You can choose your clients and set your own rates You get paid only when you work, which increases the chances of burnout
You can work from anywhere Work revisions, delayed payments and bossy clients are common problems for freelancers

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

2. Live Your Passive Income Dream With Affiliate Marketing

When most people talk about making money online, they’re not referring to freelancing or trading time for money.

They’re talking about passive income – money that keeps coming in even when you’re not working.

Affiliate marketing fits that criteria perfectly which is why it’s one of the most popular ways to make money online.

Though, like with every online way to earn you'll succeed only if you treat it like a real online business idea and not a way to make a quick buck.

Sure, you could do it as a "side hustle" to supplement your income but those who see affiliate marketing as a genuine online business opportunity...

...like affiliate travel comparison site Skyscanner (started by 3 uni graduates from home) who later sold it sold for $1.bn USD or finance / money saving affiliate site MoneySavingExpert which sold for £87m British Pounds are the ones who generate real life changing income.

Most of the NicheHacks tribe is also more interested in affiliate marketing than any other online earning method.

If you’re a complete newbie to affiliate marketing, this infographic explains how it works.

Source: Visual.ly

An affiliate is someone who promotes products or services of other businesses and earns a commission when a sale is made as a result of his marketing activities.

But affiliate marketing is much more than simply spamming people with your affiliate link and expecting them to buy from you.

You might get an occasional sale here and there using this method, but if you want to turn affiliate marketing into a long-term and sustainable income source, you’ll need to develop a group of people who trust you and consider you an expert in your niche.

You can do that by creating high-quality blog content, YouTube videos and other forms of content, and by building your email subscriber base so that you can send them more offers in future.

You can promote both physical and digital products and services as an affiliate marketer. However, the strategies for both may slightly differ.

2.1 Marketing Physical Products as an Affiliate

There are hundreds of thousands of eCommerce stores that offer affiliate commissions to anyone who promotes and sells their products.

As the biggest eCommerce site in the world, Amazon has the biggest affiliate program as well. It’s popular not only because people prefer buying through Amazon, which makes it easier for the affiliates to sell more, but also because Amazon offers a seemingly unlimited range of products that affiliates from any niche can promote.

Just in case you’re wondering about the earning potential of affiliate marketing, here’s a snapshot from Michelle’s blog, a leading personal finance blogger and affiliate marketer.

Here are some strategies affiliate marketers commonly use to promote physical products.

2.1.1 Blogging/Vlogging

Just like Michelle, if you blog regularly on a certain topic and have a loyal readership, you can monetize it by sending them relevant product promotions. This is one of the most common ways marketers make money online.

You can either find products to promote on Amazon or look for affiliate programs that are specific to your industry.

For example, if you’re a fitness blogger, you could search for fitness related affiliate programs on Google.

Here’s what I found.

This is just one example. You can find such offers in every industry.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to naturally promote affiliate offers as a blogger without being too pushy.

2.1.2 Niche Sites

Niche site is just a fancy name for blogs that are super focused on a very narrow niche. For example, instead of writing about health & fitness in general, a niche site would focus on narrow sub-niches like “weight-loss for diabetics” or “fitness for entrepreneurs”

SmartMonkeyFitness is a good example of a niche site that’s focused on a very narrow topic.

Most niche sites make money by promoting related Amazon products in their content body and side bar.

For example, the post in the snapshot above links to 15 different fitness related products on Amazon. The site owner earns a commission every time a reader makes a purchase through his post.

If you’re wondering what niche to target for your site, we have already done the hard work for you.

Here’s a free research report with more than 1781 niches that you can target.

2.1.3 Product Review Sites

As the name suggests, product review sites mainly publish reviews of different products and help readers choose the product that fits their needs.

Again, most product review sites use physical products from Amazon. But you can use other affiliate networks as well.

Here’s a good example of a review site

Luqman Khan, a member of NicheHacks Facebook Mastermind, managed to reach $40,000/month in just 8 months with his product review site.

Almost all of his income was generated through Amazon’s affiliate program. You can read his success story here.

You can learn more about the right strategies to create product review sites by reading our detailed guide.

2.1.4 Price Comparison Sites

Price comparison sites help users find the best deals on the web and earn a commission every time a sale is made through them.

Creating comparison sites is a huge business, especially in the travel, insurance and banking industries.

To give you an idea, nearly 43% of all online retailers get around 10% of their annual sales through comparison sites. Around 40% of all car insurance policies purchased online are through price comparison sites.

However, there’s no reason why they won’t work in a narrow niche.

Shoesniper and Parcel2Go are great examples of niche price comparison sites that are making a lot of money through affiliate commissions

Glen Allsop recently published a mamoth post with several recent examples of highly successful comparison and deals websites. You can read it here

You can learn much more about creating price comparison sites in this detailed guide.

(RELATED: Learn step by step how to build an online business of your choosing with the Business Idea Blueprints at NicheHacks Insider)

2.2 Selling Digital Products as an Affiliate

Marketing digital products as an affiliate is usually a more challenging prospect as compared to physical products.

I say this because most affiliates promote digital products like online training programs, web based software, web hosting services and different automation tools.

To sell these products you need to earn the trust of your buyers before you can pitch them an offer and convince them of its usefulness since there are so many scams out there on the web.

But that’s just my opinion.

If you want to market digital products as an affiliate, make sure that you

  • Only promote products that you genuinely believe can be useful to your buyers.
  • Only promote products from reliable sellers/networks so that they deliver real value to the buyers.

If you can build your reputation as a trustworthy marketer, people would be more than happy to buy the products you promote.

You can use product review and price comparison sites for selling digital products as well. But the more sustainable and long-term approach is to first route your target audience to an email list.

From there, you can send them emails to increase awareness about the products you’re offering and offer exclusive discounts to drive more sales.

Your best chance of doing that is by starting a blog, creating high-quality content and building a pool of loyal email subscribers.

Matthew Woodward’s blog is a great example of this approach.

He started blogging in 2012 and over the years he has amassed a huge following that drives his business.

Here’s a snapshot from income reports from 2017

To give you an idea of what he promotes, here’s a snapshot from his June income.

NicheHacks is another example you can follow.

Stuart started this blog with zero subscribers.

But today, NicheHacks is a thriving community of thousands of emails subscribers, Facebook Mastermind members, and followers on other social networks.

Note: Stuart shared exactly how he grew NicheHacks to 1 million readers in this post

From time to time, he promotes relevant and high-quality products to his email list subscribers and makes a lot of money from affiliate commissions.

Here are a couple of posts that describe his strategy in more detail

There’s no substitute for high-quality content.

If you want to generate regular and sustainable income from affiliate marketing, you need to build a blog, publish lots of great content, turn readers into subscribers and then promote relevant offers to them.

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

Where to Find Affiliate Offers

Almost every SaaS company, web hosting service, or marketing automation tool I know of, invites affiliates to sign up, promote their products and make commissions.

You just need to search for them.

But you can also join an affiliate network and choose relevant products to promote. An affiliate network is a platform where product creators and affiliate marketers like you interact.

When a product creator wants to launch his product, he lists it on an affiliate network where affiliate marketers from relevant industries and niches sign up for it and promote it to their respective audiences.

Here are a few affiliate networks you can join to find relevant offers to promote.

You can find dozens of other affiliate networks in this post

The Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing



It’s a passive income source that’ll keep earning you money even when you’re asleep You’re risking your reputation by asking your audience to buy from a third-party merchant, since you have zero control on the product quality
It’s easy to start and doesn’t require any big investments Affiliate networks can suspend your account or hold your commissions sometimes even on minor mistakes or misunderstandings.
You don’t need to create your own product You can’t start making money from day one. It requires a lot of time and effort
You don’t need to worry about after sales, customer service or any other logistical support If you want to make it a completely passive source of income you need to rank for the right keywords in Google search and build a huge email list
Thousands of affiliate programs to choose from, many of which pay as much as 80% commissions There are lots of scams in affiliate marketing so you need to be very careful before choosing a product to promote

(RELATED: There's 10+ Business Idea Blueprints you can emulate inside NicheHacks Insider)

3. Earn Life-Changing Money With Blogging

I’ve already mentioned blogging and content creation a number of times, since most online earning methods revolve around great content.

However, blogging still merits a whole section because it helps you build an audience around your business and a platform that can be used in countless ways to make money online.

The whole idea behind blogging is to create well-researched, actionable and in-depth content that solves the problems of your audience and helps them take action.

When you do that on a consistent basis, people start considering you an expert and trust your advice and recommendations.

This is when you can make money with blogging.

Here are a few ways to do it.

3.1 Sell Your Own Digital Products

If you can identify the biggest pain points of your target audience and create a product that solves them step by step, people would willingly buy from you.

Creating a product is a one-time investment that keeps earning you money for years. You can keep updating your product with new modules to stay relevant to the current problems of your audience.

Aspiring marketers often make the mistake of thinking you can't build a real online business around digital products but you're about to find out why that's not true.

Here’s a quick look at the type of digital products you can sell.

3.1.1 An Online Course

Target one major problem that's bothering your audience and create an online course that solves it. Your course could contain a series of video lectures, worksheets, PDF guidelines and additional reading material.

Online courses are high ticket products that can be easily sold in high-four figures as long as you can provide value.

For example, Ramit Sethi opens up registration for his premium course Zero to Launch only once a year and sells it for as much as $10,000 per course.

Brian Dean sells his SEO course for mid four-figures every year.

You can use tools like Gumroad, Teachable or Kajabi to host your course, manage students and process payments for you.

You can learn more about creating an online course in this detailed post.

3.1.2 An eBook

eBooks won’t immediately fill your bank account. But they’re easy to create, provide quick value to the readers and sell like hot cakes.

Plus, they help you turn your email subscribers into buyers that can be upsold to higher priced products.

For example, Stuart’s 101 Digital Affiliate Hacks and 101 Traffic Hacks are eBooks by definition, but they provide more actionable information on their respective topics than many full-fledged courses. And that too at a fraction of a video course.

So when Stuart does eventually launch his own video course, his buyers would happily buy from him because they know he over-delivers on value

Not bad for a few hours of work.

Because of these advantages, some of the biggest blogs on the web still actively sell eBooks on different topics.

Here’s a detailed post that outlines the process of creating and selling eBooks.

3.1.3 An Email Course

Instead of publishing everything in an eBook, you can break it down in a series of emails and offer it as a premium course.

This 30 day course by Brennan Dunn is an example.

Many bloggers and marketers use this strategy to make it easier for their buyers to digest all the information on offer.

3.1.4 A Membership Site

Instead of just offering an eBook or a course, you could create a membership site and offer all your exclusive premium content for a monthly fee.

Membership sites not only have greater perceived value among buyers, but they also give you the flexibility to keep adding new content to it whenever you have time.

This is personally one of my favourite online business models as the revenue just stacks up month after month.

The Platform University by Michael Hyatt is a good example

You could also add a premium members area to your existing blog instead of creating a completely new site for it.

NicheHacks has an exclusive members area where new niche research reports and other useful content is regularly added.

These are just some of the product ideas that you can sell on your blog. You can find several other ideas in this post.

(RELATED: Not sure which money making method is right for you? Pick one from the proven Business Idea Blueprints in NicheHacks Insider)

The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Own Product



Creating your product is a one-time effort that keeps paying you back for years Requires an initial investment of time and money
Creating a product is much easier now thanks to the different tools and platforms available online It requires extensive market research to come up with a unique angle since there a lot of products on the same topics now
The earning potential is limitless You need to build an email list and an engaged audience pool before you can sell them a product
You can introduce different pricing models to cater to different sets of buyers You need to keep adding new modules from time to time to stay relevant
You get to keep all the income from your product sales, unlike affiliate marketing The marketing expenses eat up a significant portion of your earnings

3.2 Monetize Your Blog With Ad Networks

Perhaps the most popular way to make money online is to sell advertising space on your blog.

The concept is simple.

If your blog attracts a decent amount of traffic, you can either sell ad space on your site to relevant brands or place link/banner ads in your content body using an ad network.

The earning potential of this method is huge but it mainly depends on the number of visitors you can attract to your site on a regular basis.

How you get paid also depends on the nature of your ad since there are 3 different types of advertising models you can use.

3.2.1 Cost Per Click (CPC)

As the name suggests, when you place CPC ads on your site, you earn money when someone clicks on the ad.

You can learn more about CPC Ads in this case study by Glen

3.2.2 Cost Per Action/Acquisition (CPA)

In CPA, you’re paid when a reader on your blog not only clicks on your ad but also performs a certain action, for example, fill a form or answer a survey etc.

This awesome guide by Brian Dean tells you everything you need to know about CPA marketing

3.2.3 Cost Per Mille (CPM)

Cost Per Mille which is also known as Cost Per Thousand makes you money based on the number of impressions or views your ad gets. The rate is usually set based on 1000 impressions.

Source: CPM vs CPC [Infographic]

Here’s a meaty CPM case study to help you understand this model.

List of CPA, CPC and CPM Ad Networks

There are literally hundreds of such networks on the web. But not all of them are reliable. If you’re just starting out, it better to stick to well-known and mainstream networks.

Here’s a list of some of them

The Pros and Cons of Selling Ads on Your Site



A completely passive income source To make this model work, you need to generate a LOT of traffic from search engines
An easy way to monetize your traffic You have limited control over the ads
A huge variety of networks where you can choose the right ads to promote Scams are common
You don’t need an email list to make money Ads have a negative impact on user-experience
Immediate earnings

(RELATED: Affiliate Marketing? Blogging? Membership Sites? Amazon? Which business model to choose? It's made simple with NicheHacks Insider)

3.3 Sponsored Posts

When your blog starts generating traffic and the size of your audience increases, it becomes attractive for different brands and marketers who’re looking to promote their content.

As a result, you start getting emails like this

Many leading blogs have a clearly marked section for sponsored posts

It’s up to you to decide whether you want to disclose sponsored content to your readers or not. Some bloggers do, some don’t.

For the sake of your brand image, though, be careful and selective in accepting sponsored posts.

The Pros and Cons of Accepting Sponsored Posts



Easy money that requires no money from your side, especially if the content is also provided by the brand It’s hard to create a balanced sponsored content that doesn’t appear too salesy
You get high-quality content and get paid for it If the product doesn’t perform well for your audience, it hurts your credibility
One sponsored post opens up doors for more Sponsored posts often have low quality, copied or spun content

3.4 Paid Links

Just like sponsored content, paid links are also a pretty big source of revenue for many bloggers.

You’ll start getting offers to include backlinks in your content, in return for money, as soon as the domain authority (DA) of your blog crosses 25-30.

Marketers are ready to pay big bucks for high DA backlinks and I’ve seen bloggers charge in excess of $500-1000 for a single link.

A word of caution though.

Buying and selling links is clearly against Google’s guidelines and can get you penalized or even completely wiped off from search results if Google finds out.

So even if you do opt for this revenue channel, limit yourself to reliable and well-known brands that are not involved in link spamming.

It’s still risky though.

The Pros and Cons of Paid Links



Easy money without much work Direct violation of Google’s guidelines which can get you penalized

4. Sell Online Courses on Third-Party Platforms

Selling online courses directly from your blog is a great way to create a passive income stream so makes for a great side hustle idea but can also be a full blown online business idea too.

But even if you don’t have a blog or an email list, you can still sell courses on third party platforms.

There are dozens of websites where you can create and upload video courses on all sorts of topics ranging from Business, Marketing and SEO to Music, Arts and Science.

These platforms attract millions of visitors every month. If your course is good enough and makes it to the top of your category, there’s potential to bank big bucks.

For example, I recently came across this astonishing case study of Abdul Wali, a broke street seller from Pakistan, who never went to school but turned his life upside down by making more than $100,000 in 1 year just selling courses on online learning platforms like Udemy.

His story was so inspirational that Udemy flew him all the way to San Francisco to attend their annual conference.

The downside of selling courses on a marketplace is that you don’t get to keep all the money since you need to pay the platform fee as well as its share in every sale you make.

You can sell courses on Udemy, Skillshare, Eliademy, YouTube, and several other platforms.

(RELATED: Learn step by step how to build an online business of your choosing with the Business Idea Blueprints at NicheHacks Insider)

The Pros and Cons of Selling Online Courses



No entry barrier, anyone can create a course Lots of competition in all categories
Your content is exposed to millions of potential buyers You need to pay a major chunk of your earnings to the course platform
You get modern and state of the art course creation tools You can’t route the buyers to your email list directly
Your content is fully optimized for search engines Limited potential for your personal branding
No payment disputes or delays

5. Become a Self-Published Author

If you’re a talented writer or consider writing as one of your passions, you don’t need to wait for an agent or a publisher to write your first book.

You can join hundreds of thousands of authors who’re making a full-time living by self-publishing books on Amazon. This is the perfect way to not only launch your own book but an online business too.

You simply need to sign up, upload your book online and start selling.

Amazon also offers on-demand book publishing through its company CreateSpace. The service gives your readers the option to order hard copies of your book from Amazon.

Here’s a mammoth guide that’ll teach you everything required to become a self-published author on Amazon

The Pros and Cons of Publishing on Amazon



One-time effort, long term passive income Amazon books sell for low prices
Your work is exposed to millions of Amazon users It’s hard to stand out since there’s a lot of competition
Easy to publish a book and become a published author You don’t get to keep all the money, Amazon also charges a fee on every sale
Publishing a book opens up doors for more book ideas, partnerships, speaking opportunities and You need to spend money on marketing to generate sales

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

6. Monetize Your Social Media Audience

There’s more to social media than cat videos and the Kardashians.

If you have a large and engaged following, brands would be happy to pay you to promote their products and content.

Sponsored social media posts pay so well that many marketers have made it a full-time career.

This makes it a perfect side hustle gig.

The amount of money you can earn grows with the growth of your audience. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to give you an idea of the earning potential

Source: Economist

When your network grows, brands usually reach out and make an offer themselves. But if they don’t, you can sign up on different networks that connect social media influencers with relevant brands.

(RELATED: Not sure which money making method is right for you? Pick one from the proven Business Idea Blueprints in NicheHacks Insider)

The Pros and Cons of Monetizing Your Social Media Audience



Everyone uses social media, why not earn money while doing so Social media is overcrowded and you need to spend significant time and money to grow and audience
Huge earning potential once you have a large following Social media is a double-edged sword. One wrong post and your popularity can come crashing down

7. Start an eCommerce Store To Sell Physical Products

If you already run a small brick and mortar store and don’t have the resources to physically expand your business, eCommerce is just the right solution for you.

You can avoid all the unnecessary costs and establish a full-fledged business by setting up an eCommerce store and growing it using different digital marketing strategies.

List as many products as you want and serve thousands of customers at the same time.

There are just no limits.

There are a couple of ways you can start selling right away.

7.1 Sell on B2B/B2C Marketplace Platforms

List your products on different eCommerce platforms that attract millions of visitors every day. There are literally thousands of such platforms in every niche. You just need to search them on Google.

An easy way to start, though, is by listing your products on Amazon and eBay. If you’re selling in bulk, you can also find buyers on AliBaba.

Here are a few case studies to help you get started.

From Zero to $250K on eBay in Just 3 Months

How To Make Amazon Selling Work for Your Business

Can I Make a Living Selling on eBay

7.2 Sell on Your Own Store

The other strategy is to create your own eCommerce store and sell directly to your buyers.

You can set up an eCommerce store using a premium WordPress Theme with WooCommerce integration, or you could use a ready to use eCommerce solution like Shopify or SquareSpace.

Here’s a detailed guide that tells you everything about product selection, shipment and platforms setup.

How to Start an eCommerce Business Using Shopify

The Pros and Cons of Starting an eCommerce Store



It’s very easy to setup a fully functional ecommerce store This is not a completely online business model.
It’s a highly scalable business model that has turned small time vendors into millionaires You need to invest in product development/procurement, warehousing, and supply chain
The trend of buying online is increasing exponentially Managing shipments, customer care, and product returns is hectic work
There’s still a huge business opportunity for this model in niche markets You need to invest a LOT of money in marketing your products online

(RELATED: Learn step by step how to build an online business of your choosing with the Business Idea Blueprints at NicheHacks Insider)

8. Start a Dropshipping Business With Shopify and AliExpress

You’re completely broke and don’t have the resources to invest in an eCommerce business.

Can you still sell online and turn it into a profitable online business venture?

Definitely yes!

Dropshipping is an ideal online business model for anyone who’s low on budget or just wants to test new products without investing too much time and money.

The business model is simple.

Instead of manufacturing the products yourself, handling storage, warehousing, shipping etc. you simply promote other people’s products as your own at a higher rate.

When you get orders, you route them to the original product owner and get it shipped directly to the buyer. You make money by selling the product at a higher rate than the original supplier.

Source: Oberlo Blog

You can use Ali Express to find cheap products to sell at a higher rate on your Shopify store.

I prefer Shopify since it helps you automate the whole dropshipping process with plugins and apps like Oberlo.

When you automate the whole system, your only job is to market your products using Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.

This step by step dropshipping guide by Shopify will teach you everything you need to know

The Pros and Cons of Dropshipping With Shopify



No set up cost in terms of product inventory or supply chain You have zero control over product quality, supply chain and after sales
An online store can be set up with Shopify in a very little cost You need a significant marketing budget to promote products and make sales
You can start making money immediately
The whole process can be automated and turned into passive income

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

9. Launch Your Own Private Label Products With Amazon FBA

Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) is a service by Amazon that takes care of the shipping, after sales, and customer service of your products in your target country.

You only need to manufacture your products (or purchase from a whole seller) and ship them to Amazon.

They’ll take care of the rest.

Source: JackB2B

The advantage with Amazon FBA is that you can source products or get them manufactured from China, India or any other country, add your brand name, and ship the products directly to Amazon’s warehouses.

The rest is their responsibility.

You just need to focus on listing your products on Amazon and marketing them to attract buyers.

Because of Amazon FBA, small time sellers have transformed into global brands with thousands of satisfied customers and millions of dollars in revenue.

Individuals have launched their own lucrative online businesses on the Amazon platform.

Spencer Haws, the creator of LongTail Pro, started his Amazon FBA business a few years ago and it has now turned into one of his main income sources.

He has dedicated a complete section on his blog for FBA related articles.

You can find all of it here.

(RELATED: Affiliate Marketing? Blogging? Membership Sites? Amazon? Which business model to choose? It's made simple with NicheHacks Insider)

The Pros and Cons of Amazon FBA



Amazon is the world’s largest ecommerce store Requires a significant initial investment in product development
FBA allows you to utilize Amazon’s supply chain, inventory and after sales services. This helps reduce your costs significantly Finding a reliable supplier is easier said than done
Once you have a trusted supplier and a winning product, the whole process can be automated. You need to invest in product marketing

10. Earn Huge Money by Flipping Websites

If you’re good at building high traffic websites from scratch, you can find lots of buyers willing to pay huge sums of money to acquire your site.

Website flipping is a big business in the online marketing world. The value of a site is determined by its monthly traffic volume, the quality of its content and its existing revenue.

Yaro is a great example who made six-figures with website flipping

If you’re not willing to start a website from scratch, you can buy a website from someone else, work on it for a few months and sell it for a profit.

Here are a few platforms where you can flip websites.

The Pros and Cons of Flipping Websites



Huge earning potential Flipping platforms keep a major portion of the sales price
Once you understand how the process works, you can buy ready to use websites, polishthem with better content and earn a lot of money for very little effort Growing a website from scratch is hard work and requires a lot of work.

Which Online Earning Method is Right for You?

That's a tough question.

But if you ask me, the answer to this depends on your current objectives, financial status, and knowledge.

So let me break this down into three scenarios

1) You're Broke, and Looking for Quick Money

If you're looking to make money quickly, but don't have any money to invest, freelancing is the best place to start.

As I said at the start, it's the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to making money online. It can be a side hustle or a full time online business for you.

But since it's never wise to keep all your eggs in one basket, I'd recommend you to start selling online courses on Udemy and eBooks on Amazon as well. Both require very little money but have the potential to pay back big time.

If you have patience, you can also jump into niche marketing, since it has the potential to drastically change your financial condition.

It's not quick money though.

The money you earn through freelancing can be invested in creating affiliate sites and other passive income methods.

2) You're Financially OK, But Looking for More Ways To Earn

Start a blog and give yourself 6 months to build an email list and develop a pool of loyal followers.

Once you have a sizeable audience, you can monetize it through affiliate marketing, advertisements or by directly selling your own products.

You can also look to start a niche site, as a side project, to promote affiliate offers.

To make it more manageable, consider hiring quality freelance writers to create a steady flow of high-quality content for your blog and niche sites.

On the eCommerce side, you can start a small dropshipping business using Shopify and AliExpress, since it does not require any investment and has the potential to pay back quickly.

You'd only need to spend money on Facebook and Google Ads.

Blogging, when done correctly and with a clear monetization plan in place, can become a fully fledged online business venture.

3) You're Financially Stable and Looking to Diversify Income

eCommerce is an industry worth trillions of dollars.

And it's just the beginning.

If you have money, create your own online store and market your own products.

Or, take advantage from Amazon FBA and consider launching your own private label products.

On the digital side of things, you can hire a team of content writers, SEO's and social media marketers, and focus on developing your own affiliate marketing empire.

This is a modern day gold rush with individuals using Amazon to build their own successful online business without ever having to hold stock.

To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now...

(RELATED: There's 10+ Business Idea Blueprints you can emulate inside NicheHacks Insider)

Are You Ready To Make Legit Money Online?

No matter where you are in the world, if you have a computer and an internet connection there are ways you can make legitimate money online whether you're looking to supplement your income via a side hustle or find an online business opportunity.

I could’ve added dozens of other earning methods to this list as well because they’re just so many of them, though all these methods are legit online business ideas that are suitable for beginners.

And I wanted to focus on the methods that I consider long-term business models and legitimate ways to make money online that’ll keep filling your pockets for years to come, instead of the usual make money online scams that are everywhere.

Just pick one of them and start taking action and you will find a way to make money online and a business idea that suits you.

Comments (14)

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  1. Dde Mdu says:

    Thank you for sharing such an amazing and informative blog post. Above ways are very helpful to earn money online. I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. Anton says:

    Great article! Where do you get so many creative ideas!

  3. Subham sarkar says:

    It's all the resources under one roof thanks for such a nice guide really worth spending time reading such long post 😊

  4. sreenivas says:

    Great list. But hell lot of competition for self publishing books and courses.We may succeed only if we have got a unique selling point in that.

    My favorite is affiliate marketing and does Amazon Affiliate marketing in India .

  5. Dankazeem says:

    This is great, i love it as i have everything in one post thanks for this.

  6. Hello Jawad,

    Great piece of information over here 🙂

    All the information here under a single roof. Methods to make money online all of it is here.

    I love the #5 and #6 methods. If we have a huge connections on social media platforms then, there are possibility that
    big brands would get us paid for promoting their content.

    Thanks for the share.


  7. woow!!! this is amazing dear thanks for sharing, i think i can now make some transactions online without been scammed.

  8. Good stuff as usual, Jawad (and by extension, Stuart).
    One of my first ventures into making money online was (unfortunately) a ponzi scheme, of sorts, back in 2008. Not as the conductor, but as the victim...

    Bought a $5 guide promising to teach me how to multiply that amount, but the only way for me to make that money was simply to resell the same information forward. Rinse and repeat.

    Ugh. I learned my lesson fast...

    So I appreciate you taking the time to list some actual, legit ways to make a living. And you're not sugarcoating anything either, thanks to the clear Pros and Cons included.

    Fast forward to 2017, and I have been successful with membership sites, ebook sales, affiliates, and now im about to look into sponsored content (later this year, anyway). But that last bit opens up an entirely different subject that could become its own article (hint hint), ha.

    Anyway, take good care of yourselves, guys. Keep kicking ass.


  9. Very nice and informative post. Blogging and affiliate marketing is one of my best ways to make money online and I really enjoy doing it. Sponsored posting and selling eBooks is also a great way to make money from your blog. Thanks for bringing up these fantastic money making ideas.

  10. imran syed says:

    Very nice article. In my point of view Blogging / Vlogging is really a great source for long term income if you are doing this in a legal way.

  11. Carol Lowe says:

    This is a great article full of lots of info. It is so timely for me because I am new at this with few economic resources so many of my questions were answered. Thank you so much!