How to make money online: 5 ways to get started today

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If you need to earn more money than you’re making now, you may face an even bigger challenge than many working moms: How can you possibly increase your earnings when you have so little free time already?

Fortunately, the Internet makes it easy to learn how to make more money and also make money online in your spare time, affording you the flexibility to control your time, and build your work around the rest of your life. Keep reading to learn some of the best ways to earn cash online without putting yourself out.

Related: Find a high-paying, work-at-home job

Before you sell products online, check these topics out:

How to make money selling products online

Have you ever bought something at a discount only to find out it’s worth way more than you thought? If you are able to sell it for more than you paid, you could make a quick buck.

Online resale sites make it easy to turn this concept into a business. You’ve heard of eBay, right? If you have a knack for sniffing out great deals, posting an item for sale online is easy with your smartphone.

If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of keeping track of physical products, dropshipping might be a good fit. By partnering with a dropship wholesaler, you can sell products online without keeping up with inventory yourself.

With dropshipping, a customer orders from your site and the wholesaler packages and ships it directly to them. The best part? You get to keep the profit.

Related: Make money online by selling clothes through ThredUp

How to make money selling services online

Selling your skills is is one of the most sustainable ways to make money online, and can grow into a full-time career, or even a scalable business. This is how Wealthysinglemommy founder Emma Johnson started — by freelance writing, and then by starting a blog.

One of the best ways to start growing an online service-based business is with freelancing gigs.

The benefits of freelancing, opposed to having a j-o-b, is that rather than following someone else’s rules as an employee, you have control over your schedule and the work you do.

Popular freelance gigs and careers include freelance copywriting, grant writing, and virtual bookkeeping.

Most types of freelancing don’t require any formal education. You don’t need an English degree to be a successful freelance writer. And if you can answer emails, manage social media, or do other administrative tasks, the role of virtual assistant could be perfect for you.

There are also excellent online courses that can help you learn the basic skills to launch your new career, plus support for finding clients. Bookkeeper Business Launch is a popular first step for many successful freelance, work-at-home bookkeepers who can earn multiple six-figures.

Coding, or programming, is a high-demand, highly paid industry that is especially short of female workers. This work can be done remotely, online.

Don’t panic if you can’t write code. There are many online resources for how to get started, as well as online communities of other coders from whom you can learn.

How to make money as an online influencer

Imagine making money online just for being yourself. That’s exactly what it means to be an online influencer or blogger.

YouTube makes posting videos and earning money from your channel a real possibility — even if you only use your smartphone. Setting up ads and offering channel memberships can generate cash flow. Super Chat is another way to make money. It lets viewers pay a fee in exchange for their message to be highlighted during a live chat.

Just how much can you make? On average, most YouTubers earn anywhere from 7 cents to $5 per 1,000 views. That might not sound like a lot, but some YouTubers have turned those meager earnings into millions.

Don’t believe me? Keep these stats in mind:

Ninja, known for his online gaming, earned $10 million in 2018 with YouTube. And PewDiePie averages $21,000 per video — that’s $11+ million a year.

If being on camera gives you stage fright, making money blogging or with your Instagram account is another option.

When it comes to blogging, it’s as easy as sharing your thoughts or expertise. And you can monetize your blog right from the start through ads, affiliate marketing, or selling your own products.

Instagram opens up opportunities to make money as an influencer, too. Sharing your favorite products, sponsored posts, and ads can all help you earn some cash. Growing your Instagram account into your own business and charging for one-on-one consultations or selling your own products can also help you earn real income online.

How to make money fast

Sometimes you need cash now, which is why money-making apps have become so incredibly popular. You have your smartphone with you anyway, so why not earn money in your spare time?

One of the best apps to make money is Swagbucks. It gives you the most ways to earn money: watching videos, answering surveys, playing games, searching the web, and online shopping. Plus, you get $10 free just for signing up. (See also: How to make money with online surveys)

InboxDollars offers a signup bonus, too. The initial free offer is for $5, and you can earn even more money once you start opening emails and answering simple surveys.

If surveys aren’t your cup of tea, it’s pretty easy to earn cashback with a money-making app like Ebates (now Rakuten). This website dishes out a $10 bonus right away, but you can also earn cash back for shopping or completing simple tasks.

For another $10 signup bonus, check out Ibotta. Earning money buying groceries is easily done when you scan your receipt. And you can make money by inviting friends to use the app, too.

Related: How to save money on a low income

What is the best way to make money online?

With so many options to pick from, the best way to make money online is the one you enjoy the most, and that fits with your own personal and income goals.

One of my favorite resources is the job search website FlexJobs, which specifically focuses on online, at-home, telecommute, and flexible career-level jobs.

Read: FlexJobs review

The site posts thousands of recent positions vetted by FlexJobs' team, and is overseen by CEO and founder Sara Sutton Fell, a mom who build the company on the premise that every mom deserves a flexible, high-paid career that works with her family and life.

Try FlexJobs to find a flexible, remote job >>

About Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson is a financial expert, award-winning writer, and Indiana mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting and travel. Her personal finance articles have been published in the U. S. News, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Life Hacker. Holly is founder of of the family finance resource,, and is the co-author of Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love. Learn more about Holly here.

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