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How to make money online for beginners

make money online Oct 07, 2022

At one point or another, you’ve probably at least considered setting up a side hustle to make some extra income or even start something that will completely replace your current job and give you more freedom. If you’re looking for how to make money online for beginners, look no further. We’ll show you several way to start, including ways of doing it that don't require building an online business or trying to sell an online course! Today we’re going to talk about tasks that practically anyone can do, from home—tasks that will generate a decent stream of additional income.


I also have a collection of beginning stories from successful digital entrepreneurs for you to check out. We all started somewhere, you can too!


Let’s get started!


There are so many options for making an extra buck, even for making $100 per day, but here are some  top trending options right now for how to make money online for beginners:


  1. Online surveys

  2. Online tutoring

  3. Writing articles

  4. Blogging 

  5. Selling stuff

  6. Becoming an affiliate

  7. Testing apps, products and websites

  8. Transcribing recordings

  9. Downloading money-making apps


Online surveys

Surveys are especially great for those who like to influence others through their opinions. Polls sent out by companies help them do market research before they design new products or determine how well received existing products are. Sometimes even government polls are performed to see how certain matters lie with the general public. When it comes to making money the easy way, this could be top on the list, the downside is you don't make that much.


Once you’ve completed the poll or survey, the polling company will pay you. Although surveys are another way to make extra money on the side, don’t expect to get a steady stream of cash flow from them: often they’re redeemable for cashback only—or in other words, items or gift cards, not actual cash, and the amount you make for your time is typically below minimum wage.



  • Influence organizations’ decision-making process

  • Get paid to do so

  • Doesn't require an audience or consistent effort to build traffic to your offer



  • No cash payout

  • Lower compensation rates


Online tutoring

Tutoring is great for making money the easy way if you like to teach and are naturally good at it. It requires knowledge of a given subject, like English or another language, math, science, or music. But, even if you’re not an expert, you only need to really be one step ahead of the student!


Tutoring is usually done in one-on-one sessions online and doesn’t require you to meet in person. All you need is a steady internet connection with enough bandwidth to do the lessons and a good device to teach from. If you can do it, this is a great way to make money for free because you probably already have the internet and a laptop or smartphone.



  • Minimal effort to start

  • Endless stream of students willing to learn

  • The more specialized you are, the greater the pay



  • Some companies require a TESOL, TEFL or other certification to teach English (but you’ll likely earn more with one anyway)

  • To earn consistently, you need to be persistent and committed to your students 

  • Tutor sites may take a cut of your pay


Writing articles

There are plenty of companies out there looking for quality writers to take on projects. Sites like Fiverr and Upwork have ample opportunities for anyone ready to write (though it’s recommended that you have decent skill in writing and proofreading). Writing articles is typically done virtually.


Unless you already have a portfolio, expect very little for your work starting off. Even as little as $2.50 an hour ($10 for 4 hours on a 1000 word project). As you build up a portfolio and provide links proving your worth and skill as a writer, you can begin to charge considerably higher rates.



  • Good earning potential

  • Rewarding work



  • Can pay really low at the start

  • Writing takes persistence, patience, and practice



Blogging is another great way for writers to create content. Whether it’s your own personal blog, or you are creating blog content for others, this option can make quite a bit of money. Writing for someone else’s blog requires patience as you try to understand the tone and voice they want to portray.


As for creating your own, you have to have the right mindset when you do so. Blogging is hard work and requires a lot of skills, such as affiliate marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), eCommerce (if you intend to sell your own curated products or content), graphic and web design, and more.


There are many ways to earn big money as a blogger, but probably the highest earning opportunity comes when you can target a niche audience and add value to their lives.



  • Earning potential (could even make a decent annual salary)

  • Rewarding work on topics you are passionate about



  • Can take a lot to get up and going

  • Takes a lot of work for upkeep


Selling stuff

Selling probably has the widest range of earning potential and can be very easy, or very challenging. The easy route is to sell old stuff (like textbooks you’ve hardly used or clothes that no longer fit) on places like eBay and Facebook Marketplace. The harder way to go is selling new content or products on Etsy, Shopify, or an eCommerce site where you create an online store. It’s the business aspects that make this second option harder.


Just to emphasize the point, you have to be able to quickly create or purchase low cost goods, have a place to store and package items, know how to price the products to make a profit (or at least break even), and have time to list and then sell the items. You also have to have the business acumen to drive people to your listings. If you have the capital, you can hire out some of the higher skill work or get a virtual assistant, but that makes your operating costs that much higher.


Dropshipping approaches the selling business a little differently. Instead of handling the products yourself, you sell products via third-party manufacturers and suppliers, who will take care of all that. It can take a bit more effort to set up, but it’s worth it if you can beat the learning curve. There is a lot of information out there on how to dropship, since it is quite the popular way of running business, so try to find someone who can mentor you through the process.



  • Makes a decent chunk of change when done right

  • Rewarding feeling of owning your own business

  • Everyone has old stuff they can sell



  • Investment of time and money

  • Barriers to entry, such as the learning curve

  • Old stuff typically doesn’t sell at purchase price or equivalent value


Becoming an affiliate

Affiliate work is another great, simple way to earn money for beginners. It does require a bit of tech savviness, however. Essentially you get a link from your favorite brand (many people choose Amazon), post it on your YouTube channel, blog, social media, or other form of content delivery, and any time someone clicks on it or makes a purchase (depending on the affiliate program), you receive a commission as thanks for referring that person.


One unique perk of affiliate marketing is that you’re probably already using and referring the product to others, so why not get paid for it? It doesn’t take much effort to get started, but it will take time and consistent commitment to earn greater amounts from affiliate marketing. You can earn anywhere between five and thirty percent, typically, so try to find items you can support that pay out more. If you already have a source of traffic, then becoming an affiliate could be a way to generate passive income.



  • Ease of earning

  • Promote products and companies you support



  • Often must share that you are an affiliate and earn from referred purchases

  • Earning is not as consistent at first


Testing Apps, Products, or Websites

This one is great for beginners because companies typically don’t want end users to have any background knowledge about the apps, products, or websites so they can get the very best feedback. Effort is pretty minimal for this, as all you have to do is sign up to be a tester/research participant. Essentially you get to try things out and explain your thoughts and impressions of the given product, app, or website. Aside from making some extra money on the side, this can be kind of fun!


The key here is to sign up for multiple companies and sites so you can get more stuff to test and get greater payouts.



  • Help companies make key decisions on app/site/product development

  • Takes very minimal effort for a bit higher payout than surveys

  • Can be fun



  • Have to sign up for many sites

  • More repetitions to get the money you’re looking for


Transcribing recordings

If you type fast and know punctuation rules pretty well, consider transcribing recordings and videos. Transcribing entails listening to video or audio content and writing it down word for word. It doesn’t take much to get started: just create a profile on sites like Upwork and Fiverr, and you’re good to go. You can either be paid hourly or per minute.


Note that in most cases, you have to work from gig to gig, which means less steady pay. Sometimes, though, companies are looking for part-time transcribers. If you can land one of these, you won’t have as much work involved to keep a steady stream of income coming in.



  • No certification needed (though it can help you earn more)

  • The work itself isn’t super hard



  • Not always a steady way of making money

  • Potential pressure for transcription turnaround time


Becoming a Remote Salesperson

Are you good at sales? There is great money to be earned in sales. While remote sales is a bit different from traditional door-to-door or in-person sales, it is similar in that you need to have the drive to talk up products and sell day in and day out. You get to choose your own hours (as long as you’re still selling, of course).


How do you get into this? Build your resume, seek out opportunities on job-seeking sites, and discover the endless possibilities that even a beginner with drive can attain.



  • Flexibility of hours

  • Great money to be made



  • Be prepared for a lot of rejection

  • Your money is dependent on how well you sell


Honorable mentions

A couple of honorable mentions that aren’t exactly ways to earn money online would be to rent out your home (or your stuff) to other people, download money-making apps, or perform small tasks like building furniture or picking up groceries for others (see Amazon Turk Worker site). If you have a bit more skill in a given area, you might be able to set up a better side hustle. If you have skills in any of the following, they could be a valid option for you:

  • Coaching
  • Technical writing

  • Programming, software development, and/or building apps

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Photography

  • Graphic design

  • Web Design or development

  • YouTubing

  • Podcasting


How to Make Money Online for Beginners: The Bottom Line

There is plenty of work out there to be done online for an extra buck or two, and some that even pay more than $100 per day. In reality, there’s no one right way to make money online as a beginner. Start with one, see if you like it, and go from there. If you are willing to put out the effort, try new things, fail fast and move on to another idea, making money online could be in your future. Who knows? Maybe your moonlighting can lead to owning your own online business or a more steady, sizable extra paycheque every month! The sky's the limit; you just have to give it your best shot.


Beginning Stories

Crystal, The Parenting Coach

Having a degree in psychology and spending the last 15 years of my life studying attachment and connection based parenting, I wanted to get a masters degree and start counseling. Then a friend of mine invited me to a workshop being put on by a life coach.

I didn't know anything about coaching and it was amazing. It seemed like the answer that was missing in all the books I'd read that would make it possible to implement everything the books were teaching.

I decided to certify as a life coach and started my own business in 2020. I had always been afraid of entrepreneurship and set a goal for myself to make $1,000 in one month through my coaching. I was absolutely amazed when that happened next month.

I had never imagined that I could make $1,000 a month on my own. This experience blew my limiting thought about entrepreneurship away and I realized I could use my coaching to gain financial independence. The next 2 years were full of trial and error and growth and learning, honing in on what I most passionate about and how to thrive in it.


IG @the.parenting.coach


Brittni Schroeder

I have been an entrepreneur for the last 15 years. It started with a Mother’s Day gift. A camera. I wanted to take better pictures of my kids for my blog. I have always loved to learn and so I started consuming anything I could find on photography.

When friends and family started asking me to take their pictures, I knew that I could turn this hobby into a career. Interestingly enough the business part came naturally to me, but I had to work a little harder at the photography part. I niched down, and started working with High School Seniors. I hit the ground hard with marketing and the photography skills soon caught up. Within months (about 8 months) I had build a solid, high-demand brand.

My business was thriving, and I was ready for more. I decided to start a photography magazine with a friend. This was an incredible opportunity and I was able to meet and network with some amazing brands. I learned so much, but the season was right and we ended up selling the magazine to focus on other passions.

About 5 years ago, my husband got an offer in another city, Houston, and we decided to take it. This was a good time for me to pivot. If I was going to start over, I wanted to create a business that I had the flexibility to work when and where I wanted. I decided to focus on helping people with their businesses. This was something that came naturally and I enjoyed.

I know help entrepreneurs create systems, automations, and scale their businesses. There is nothing that brings me more joy than helping entrepreneurs take an idea or passion and create a successful business.


IG @brittni.schroeder


Jennie Lakenan

My journey to being a digital entrepreneur started with me thinking I was going to be a Life Coach. I found a great program and was certified through The Life Coach School. After certification, I was neck deep in this network of Life Coaches and I realized they all had a problem, and that problem was aligned so well with a skillset and passion of mine.

They needed good websites, and I love design, tech, and building systems that work. This was a perfect fit for me and my business was born. Instead of being a life coach, I started a website design and service business. My background in WordPress was enough for me to get started and I knew that I could do a good job, I just believed that I could. That was over 4 years ago and the rest is history, I love how I can help other coaches with something that is such a big need for them.

One tip I have for people beginning to make money online is to work their way into other audiences. Build relationships with people whose audience has the need you meet, if you can add value to them by meeting a need in their audience, and getting in front of them, this is a great way to quickly grow your own following.


Facebook @jennielakenan

IG @jennielakenan

YouTube @jennielakenanofficial




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* Disclaimer: I am not an employee, agent or representative of Kajabi, LLC. Kajabi does not in any way endorse my products or services. I am an independent Kajabi Partner and I receive referral payments from Kajabi in this role. All opinions expressed herein are my own and are not official statements of Kajabi or any party affiliated with Kajabi.