I hate to write “make money online” blog posts as it creates a sense of expectation. If you are a blogger, or a digital marketer, or even a beginner then you already know that it is POSSIBLE to make money online.
What’s interesting is that, there are plenty of ways to make money online — from selling ads, e-books, affiliate marketing, freelance writing, podcasting, consulting, coaching, training, designing, coding, gaming, investing, etc.
The idea of this blog post is to highlight some of those online income streams. Please don’t expect overnight success. The thing is, creating an income stream online requires a lot of work, patience, and some money too.
If you are a beginner and is absolutely clueless about where to start then this blog post should help you to kick-start (and that’s the idea too). If you have any trouble with any of these options you can email me, and I will do my best to find the best resource to help you.
Make Money Online With Your Website
Do you have a website or a blog? If yes, then selling advertisements is the easiest way to make money online. Since there are tons of ad networks on the Internet, make sure that you choose the best ad network to maximize the revenue.
If you can create your own products then it’s the best way to make money because that way you’re actually building a passive income stream online. You can use your own blog or website to market your products so that people will buy it when they’re convinced.
Advertising networks can be Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Mille (CPM), or Cost Per Action (CPA). A Cost Per Click network pays you each time a user clicks on your ad and the actual amount you’ll get is determined by the advertiser. Now a Cost Per Mille network or simply a Cost Per Impression network pays for every 1,000 pageviews that you generate. If they pay $1 for every 1,000 page views, then you’ll get $30 if the number of page views a month is 30,000.
Now I’m going to list some of the popular ad networks in each category. If you’re looking for a comprehensive list then check out 51 Google AdSense Alternatives for more CPC and CPM networks and also check out the Best Affiliate Networks & Programs for more CPA networks.
Cost Per Click (CPC) Ad Networks
Cost Per Mille (CPM) Ad Networks
In-Image Ad Networks
Pop Under Ad Networks
Cost Per Action (CPA) Affiliate Networks
- Commission Junction (CJ)
- Rakuten Advertising
- AdWork Media
- TORO Advertising
- Digital Media Solutions
- Affiliate Future
Cost Per Sale (CPS) Affiliate Networks
Sell Ads Directly To Advertisers
You can always sell ads directly when someone wants to buy a banner ad, or text links, or even a sponsored post on your blog. But if you’re not lucky enough then you have to become a part of a bigger network where you can showcase your ad inventory.
- Google Ad Manager (formerly DoubleClick)
Automated Affiliate Marketing
You have a website or a blog which is getting good targeted traffic but don’t know how to monetize it? Then you can try the following automated affiliate marketing networks. It converts all the normal links in your website to affiliate links and you make money when clicks result in sales or leads.
So by joining these networks you’ll get access to thousands of affiliate programs without applying individually and you don’t have to manage any affiliate programs or links or anything as they offer a centralized reporting as well.
In-house Affiliate Programs
If you like a product then obviously you write about it, tweet about it, and tell your friends, right? Now how about getting paid for that? That’s right! If you check the websites of most Internet companies (others too) then you can find their affiliate program.
So, you can use the affiliate links while promoting their products and they’ll pay you for referring new customers to them. They may have their own in-house affiliate program, or one that is managed by an affiliate network, or both.
- Apple Performance Partners Program (formerly iTunes Affiliate Program)
…and much more.
Bloggers: Sell Text Links & Sponsored Posts
If you have a good quality website then advertisers will try their best to buy a text link or a sponsored post from you. But wait, selling text links is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and they may ban your website from its search results unless the links are rel=”nofollow”.
Sell Text Links
Join Ad Networks For Bloggers
- AdThrive — a lifestyle digital publishing and ad monetization network covering food, home, parenting, and DIY.
- BuySellAds — builds powerful revenue technology for publishers and connects marketers with qualified, valuable audiences at scale.
- BlogHer (for Women bloggers) — represents a community of over 1,500 content creators, bloggers, influencers and entrepreneurs, providing monetization through media, sponsored programs, and our virtual events.
- Gourmet Ads — is the leading food ad network.
- Taboola — for content discovery advertising.
- Amazon Native Shopping Ads — provides highly relevant and dynamic product recommendations in a stylishly designed and responsive ad unit that can be placed at the end of content or within the content to create a more compelling visitor experience and shopping opportunity.
- Disqus — turn engagement into revenue with new inventory through Disqus and highly configurable ad serving.
- Webgains — connects publishers like you with big brands, who share the same core values and want to sell their products to a wider audience.
- LockerDome — an ad platform to monetize your website, in-app, and email traffic.
Start A Newsletter
If you have loyal traffic, it’s a good idea to start a newsletter so that you can engage with your readers in a more friendly way. And it’s also one of the best way to market your products since people usually don’t buy your product when they first visit your website/blog for the first time.
- MailChimp — design and send email marketing campaigns.
Note: You can start an online newsletter even if you don’t have a popular blog or website. For instance, if you’re able to give expert advice or opinions about a topic, you can start a daily/weekly/monthly newsletter and create a simple blog to build email lists. And you can monetize your newsletter as you grow — by say, offering premium services or promoting a product.
Are You A Freelance Writer?
Content is King on websites. Content is often outsourced so if you have got good writing skills, you can make a living writing online. Here are some content marketplaces where you can sell your content.
- Digital Point
- ProBlogger Job Board
- BloggingPro Job Board
Are You A Professional Writer?
If you are a professional writer, you can contribute content to some of the top content provides like Yahoo, AOL, About.com, etc. and get upfront payment.
Are You A Graphic/Web Designer?
- 99designs — fire up your freelance graphic design career by joining the world’s largest community of designers.
- crowdSPRING — a marketplace for graphic design, including logo design, website design, product design and naming your business.
- Design Contest — a community shaped by the joint efforts of talented, skilled graphic designers.
- Freelancer Contests — search for the right job and write your best bid proposal now.
- Envato Studio — a hand-picked community of freelancers.
- Visual.ly — infographics, videos, and ebooks for marketing campaigns.
- ArtWeb — create easy and free websites for your art.
- Design Cuts — providing the very best design resources at prices affordable for everyone.
- Creative Market — a platform to get your products in front of over 7 million members wherever they are.
- TurboSquid — is the biggest 3D marketplace for professionals.
Are You An Artist?
- Patreon — a membership platform that makes it easy for artists and creators to get paid.
- Big Cartel — build a unique online store, sell your work, and run a creative business.
- DistroKid — a service for musicians that puts your music into online stores & streaming services.
- TuneCore — distribute your music to over 150 digital stores across 200 countries and territories worldwide.
- CD Baby — is an online distributor of independent music.
- AudioJungle — sell your work with the largest online creative community.
- Pond5 — online marketplace for royalty-free stock video and music library.
- Bandcamp — sell your music and merchandise to your fans.
- Bunny Studio —
- Voice123 —
Make Money Sharing & Creating Audio/Video
- YouTube Partner Program — upload videos on YouTube and make money from ads.
- Dailymotion Partner — become a Dailymotion Partner to manage, distribute and monetize the stories you want to tell.
- Vimeo — make money sharing videos on Vimeo.
- Midroll Podcasters — a podcast advertising network.
Click Photos? Sell Your Photos & Graphics!
Like To Do Micro-jobs?
Now you can offer your microservice online and get paid for it. You post what you’re willing to do for $5 or even $50 and get paid when you deliver the work. It’s that simple!
Have A Skill?
Try any of the following freelance marketplaces to find freelance jobs or to sell your service. You can become a virtual assistant, manage the social media profiles of a company/person, design a website, design a logo, offer writing or translation service, develop a software, design a website, develop a web application, etc.
Offer Expert Advice
- Clarity.fm — If you’re an expert in some field and can give expert advice, you can charge advice seeking users by the minute.
- JustAnswer — Earn money when you answer questions in your field of expertise online. Set your own hours and work anytime, anywhere.
Be A Tutor
Be A Curator
- Playlist Push — Earn money by listening and reviewing songs.
- Squadhelp — Submit unique business name ideas or logo designs to companies and win cash awards if your idea is selected.
Be A Tester
- UserTesting.com — UserTesting.com pays you up to $15 per test to evaluate websites’ usability and clarity.
- uTest — uTest compensates testers for approved reports they submit.
Be An Influencer
Sell, Sell, Sell
Today, online marketplaces are extremely popular and you can sell almost anything online.
Sell Your Domain Names
Sell Your Websites
Sell Everything Else
- Amazon — Fresh new startups and Fortune 500s. B2B and B2C. Brand owners and resellers. They all sell on Amazon for a reason: 300 million customers shop on Amazon.
- Craigslist — an American classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community service, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.
- eBay — An e-commerce store that connects millions of buyers and sellers around the world.
- Bonanza — Sell your products online.
- Etsy — Sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies.
- ArtFire — Premier handmade marketplace to buy & sell handmade crafts, supplies, vintage and art.
- Threadless — Artist Shops provides the best and easiest platform for you to sell your art in your own customized online store for free.
- Zazzle Create — Design with thousands of free templates and elements to bring your ideas to life.
- CafePress — Online gift shop.
- Quirky — Got an innovative idea? You can sell it on Quirky and make money.
- Chegg — Sell your old textbooks and earn some cash.
Create An Online Store
Create an online story by yourself and start selling your own products.
Love Stock Market?
- Robinhood — Commission-free investing, plus the tools you need to put your money in motion.
Of course, there are hundreds of other ways to make money online. But like I have already mentioned, the idea of this blog post is to explore different opportunities so that you can decide where to focus on.
I haven’t included the not so easy ways to make money online like selling your apps or music or movies on iTunes, Google Play Store, Microsoft Store, Amazon etc.
Let me know if I missed your favorite website (or an online income stream) and I will be happy to feature it here. :)
First Published: October 15, 2013; Last Updated: Monday, February 1, 2021