20+ Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home [You Can Start Today]

With our current situation, there has never been a better time than now to start an online business or earning online.

Would you love to escape your 9-5 job? What would being able to earn $1,000+ a month online mean to you?

You could possibly:

  • Be able to travel more
  • Pay of your debts quicker
  • Save more and invest for your future
  • The grand prize off leaving your job and…
  • Spending more time with your family

Being able to earn $1,000+ a month online can have a massive impact on your life. I’ll show you that it is easier to achieve than you may think.

Right now I’m going to show you 20+ real and legitimate ways to make money online from home that are not scams.

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home

I worked in office jobs for years and hated it! before starting to make money online at home. So I know how you’re feeling too. So please join me on the journey to show you the options and help you choose the best option for you.

20+ Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online From Home – Even as a Beginner

First I’ll break it down all the ways between:

  • Active Income
  • Residual Income

Then for each way I’ll also break it down further along the lines of:

  • Difficulty (how easy/hard/time required)
  • Skill Level required
  • Initial investment
  • Income Potential
  • Risk associated and whether they can be scaled/automated
  • Residual or passive income potential

Active Income versus Residual Income/Passive Income

Firstly let’s understand what is Active Income and Residual Income sometimes called Passive Income.

* Active or Earned Income (Linear Income) – You work for mоnеу. You will ѕtор earning mоnеу if уоu stop putting in tіmе doing the work which is the ѕоurсе of your income. The classic example is a job. In the make money online options, other examples are freelance work, agency work and answering surveys.

* Residual or Passive Income – Mоnеу works fоr уоu! Contrast to the earned or асtіvе income, making money dоеѕn’t ѕtор even when you ѕtор working. Reality check however, typically you have to put in time and effort initially in order to earn the residual or passive income.

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home Residual Income vs Linear Income

Beware however, there are endless amounts of scams online trying to sell you “systems” from their fancy sales pages. They claim you can make passive income online by using their “done for you systems” or whatever. These are scams and I cover this in detail to protect you from Ways to Avoid Online Scams.

So it is possible to make residual or passive income online, but it’s important to be aware of what this means in reality – that this takes work initially. So instead of trading time for money, we invest our time (or money) upfront.

Therefore, this article explains ways to make money online at home that are different from many others that you will find.

Given the two tуреѕ of income, it’s wіѕе to broaden your income by hаvіng multiple ѕtrеаmѕ of income аnd іntеntіоnаllу shift tоwаrd mоrе rеѕіduаl оr раѕѕіvе іnсоmе gеnеrаtіоn. This post will help you choose from the “menu” of multiple income streams.

Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online From Home Ratings

There are so many active and residual ways to make money online but they are not all equal.

The rest of this article will show you various ways that people just like you are earning $1,000+ a month.

But first I want to show you 6 different areas or ratings so you can easily determine what approach suits you.

  • Difficulty (how easy/hard/time required)
  • Initial investment
  • Skill Level required
  • Income Potential
  • Risk associated and whether they can be scaled/automated
  • Residual or passive income potential

Each rating is a score of 1 to 5 with 1 being the easiest or lowest and 5 being the hardest or highest.

Difficulty (how easy/hard/time required)

The difficulty rating means how difficult it will be for you to start making some decent money from the make money idea.

This considers the time you would need to invest and the skill level required.

Scoring 1 means you could start making money quite easily and sooner.

Scoring 5 means it will likely take you some time to make money from the idea because you would need to learn some more skills along the way.

Initial Investment

This is quite obvious but must be understood.

Scoring 1 means you don’t need any money to start. Scoring 5 means you will need to invest money to try this idea.

*Note that scoring 2 means you need very little money but some people may argue you don’t need any money to start!

Skill Level Required

This is the rating that may put you off but better you understand this up front.

However, none of the skills needed in this article are too hard to learn.

Every real way you will see from someone making money online in that way has learned the skill either by finding a mentor or low-cost course or by themselves (through Google or YouTube).

They have simply invested in themselves and grown their skills.

Scoring 5 means you need to have some very specific skills that you will need to learn to make money from the idea. But this often means there is more opportunity as fewer people will attempt this.

Income Potential

This is also self-explanatory.

Scoring 1 means you are unlikely to make much money from this. Scoring 5 means the income potential is unlimited (yes… there are no limits to how much you can earn).

Risk associated and whether they can be scaled/automated

Some have low risk associated with them and can even be scaled or automated as you build your business for you to become more hands off and the income still residual or passive.

Some can’t be scaled OR have a huge risk associated. Not everyone tells you this, I will highlight this so you can be fully informed.

With this, I will tailor each option to describe it appropriately.

Scoring 1 means that it is either high risk and/or cannot be scaled, so you will have to continue to give money and/or time to this option.

Scoring 5 means that it is low risk and can be scaled/automated to allow you to be more hands off and for more passive income to flow.

Residual or Passive Income Potential

We covered above the definition of residual or passive income.

A score of 1 means you will have to continue to give your time for money to make money from the opportunity. So this is linear income like a job.

A score of 5 means it’s possible for you to put in very minimal time and effort to keep making money.

*Some ideas are possible to “scale up” or “systemise” by hiring other people, like outsourcing to freelancers, to make it more hands-off for you to free up your time.

RESIDUAL


Online Business Ideas

1. Start a Blog – Affiliate Marketing

You can either:

Affiliate marketing is simply recommending someone else’s service or product in a way that pays you a commission. It is a very simple, yet powerful online business model that means you earn a commission every time someone clicks one of your links and buys a product or service you’re recommending.

These are 4 basic steps to affiliate marketing:

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home c4bc40614675c284ce88529fb645d437 cropped 1617257313

This is the most straight forward and linear online business model. Yet, it is one of the more powerful business models on the internet.

Think about people who have problems:

  • Make money
  • Health e.g. get 6 pack abs
  • Dating
  • Stop dogs peeing on carpet

What if you could find products to solve these problems?

Essentially you are learning how to sell others people products from places like:

  • Amazon
  • Share-A-Sale, Commission Junction (CJ) are good alternatives to Amazon
  • Clickbank
  • JV Zoo

You are the connector, you connect the people that have problems with the products that solve the problems and you make a cut. It is very simple and easy to learn. You just need to become a great connector.

Where can you best learn these skills? WealthyAffiliate.com is by far the best affiliate marketing training and mentoring platform that will give you all the step-by-step training, tools and support you need to build your online business in whatever niche you choose.

In my case, this is how I began making money online. There are many ways to use affiliate marketing, but the best way to scale a residual income is by using a website (build a blog).

This is also the best foundation for many of the other business models, because you will learn about search engine optimization (SEO) and how to get free organic traffic from search engines.

With these two basic skills you have many ways to make money online from home.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and get started
  • You don’t need to invest time and costs to create your own products.
  • Affiliate marketing is available in so many industries
  • You can promote Affiliate programs anywhere that the terms of service allow. This is just about everywhere including your own website, social media, email, or in third-party community apps. For example, it’s possible to make money from affiliate links quickly using social media platforms (e.g. you could join Amazon Associates pretty quickly and then recommend your favorite product or book on social media. So if someone buys through your link, you can make money online)
  • Possible to scale the business for unlimited income (you can outsource pretty much all of it after you know the basics…)

Cons:

  • There are specific skills you really must learn to make a good income from it. Notably how to write for you audience (copy writing) and search engine optimization (SEO) for starters.
  • It will take time to build residual income (so you may want to have another source of income e.g. freelancing or regular job while you build it up)

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 3 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 3 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 4.5 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 4.5 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 5 out of 5

Check out this success story of Brok who has joined the $10K+ per month club, here’s another from Michael who went working 50 hour weeks as a forklift driver to almost $30,000 in a month.

They are just regular people like you and I and learned all these skills from my #1 recommendation.

2. Niche Website – SEO Focus for Organic Traffic

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Niche Website

This is a solid, proven and legitimate way to make money online at home. You are taught about this in my #1 recommendation.

Niche websites focus on their specific topic (niche) and mainly make income by referring people to third party products and services using affiliate marketing. Display ads are another common way to earn income.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focus means writing articles using certain keywords to try to get your articles on page 1 of Google for those keywords.

A keyword is simply a phrase, question or words that people type into Google.

Pros:

  • When you can rank for keywords on Google and search engines, you can get constant traffic and passive income.
  • Can be low cost to get started (hosting and a domain name could cost from $90 to $300/year as the essentials)

Cons:

  • It can take many months for you to create the content and for Google to recognize your website and give you traffic
  • There is upfront work to build an authority site before you earn income and many people give up before achieving success.

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 3 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 3 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 4.5 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 4.5 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 5 out of 5

Check out how Dollarsprout made over $12,000 after about 2 years of blogging as a personal finance niche blog. They even earned over $104,000 in a single month.

3. Buy a Niche Website

There are marketplaces like Flippa and services like Human Proof Designs where you can buy a ready-made niche website. This is ideally for someone experienced in blogging already who can add value to an established website.

Pros:

  • Cuts out a lot of the initial time and effort to create content to become an authority website (compared with the first 2 options)
  • Existing traffic and customer base
  • For the highly skilled you can even flip websites after you have improved and optimized them to make profits for you.

Cons:

  • Requires additional money and time required to customize the website
  • Less opportunity to expand and apply your own knowledge by buying a ready-made website compared to creating your own.
  • You have to carefully value the website considering things like domain value, performance, content, design/layout, website infrastructure and revenue.
  • There are risks to consider – copyright issues regarding images and texts
  • Risks even higher if you are planning on buying and flipping the website.

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 4.5 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 5 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 4 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 4.5 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 5 out of 5

4. Affiliate Marketing Business – Ads for Paid Traffic

Rather than building up a full niche website, some people achieve success promoting affiliate offers via paid ads on social media or search engines.

You can pay for ads on Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and pretty well any platform that exists now.

The main challenge here is that the cost of advertising are always rising and competition is increasing. So to make money with paid traffic is easier said than done. Ads on these platforms are becoming very competitive and if your ad doesn’t capture attention and make people want to find out more, you can burn through cash very fast!

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home Ads for Paid Traffic

Robbie Blanchard’s Commission Hero is a prime example of this type of training and paid traffic. You can read my review of Commission Hero (Robby’s paid traffic affiliate marketing course).

Pros:

  • If you have a high converting offer with low competition you can make money quicker

Cons:

  • You can lose a lot of money very quickly if you don’t work out how to stand out and get people to click on your ads (too many people run after lost money here)
  • When you stop buying ads your income stops (your monthly overheads like Clickfunnels $97/month continue though).

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 4 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 4 out of 5 (Ongoing Investment: 5 out of 5)
  • Skill Level Required: 5 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 3 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 2 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 5 out of 5

It is different if you are already doing SEO and free traffic and are getting website conversions. Then you can scale those conversions with paid traffic. This requires success in option 1, 2 or 3 first and is lower risk for those already skilled in those business models.

5. Creating and Selling Digital Products

This involves you creating a digital product like an eBook. You then sell the product directly to customers, usually for a one-time fee. There’s a whole world of people selling eBooks on platforms like Gumroad.

If you have already made money with a particular method e.g. how to make money using Twitter or how to use Pinterest for Bloggers, you could create an eBook (or course, see option 6).

It definitely helps if you have a website (blog) already to help promote the eBook, but some people use Twitter and other social media platforms to promote it.

Pros:

  • Given it is your product and you set the price – you have greater control over how much money you make

Cons:

  • You have to promote and do the work to make sure people buy it
  • It takes time initially to create the eBook or digital product.

Ratings:

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Creating and Selling Digital Products
  • Difficulty: 4.5 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 5 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 4.5 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 3 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 5 out of 5

There are other digital products also like:

  • Mobile apps
  • Mobile games
  • Plugins or add-ons
  • Photos or video
  • Music or audio

6. Creating and Selling Courses

This is really a way for bloggers to go from earning a few thousand dollars per month to earning 5 to 6 figures per month.

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is a great example. She created Making Sense of Cents and published her income reports in 2018. She was earning great income from affiliate marketing and in 2016 she launched her first course and had made over $1M from it in the first 2.5 years.

You can start with smaller courses on pretty much anything. If you can create an online course on a platform like Udemy or Teachable then you can make money selling that course.

A brilliant way is to build an audience with your blog, an email list and also social media. Also, if you already have an audience you can ask them what their challenges are and create a course to meet their needs.

Pros:

  • You have even more control over how much money you make
  • You can automate the sales by offering other people (affiliates) the chance to become an affiliate and also using email marketing or sales funnels to sell.

Cons:

  • It takes time initially to create the course and also to keep it updated.
  • You have to promote and do the work to make sure people buy it.

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 5 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 3 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 5 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 5 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 2 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 5 out of 5

ACTIVE


Work Online For Money

7. Get Paid To (GPT) and Survey Sites

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Get Paid To and Survey Sites

*Disclaimer – You won’t be able to earn $1,000/month online from this way*

Get Paid To (GPT) or survey sites, is the type of activity that pretty well anyone can do online. I call it activity rather than work as you can only really earn pocket change with this method. You usually don’t need any special skills or qualifications, just your time.

GPT tasks that are popular include completing surveys, participating in research studies, or watching videos. Companies are happy to pay people for their views given it gives them insights on whether their ideas will work for the market.

The offers and payments tend to be small and frequent or bigger and rare. Each offer will give you a chance to earn money. Respondent promises a lot with paid research studies ranging from $10 to $100 and is a popular site for finding a possible paid research study. However, despite qualifications and experience in accounting, finance, education and online marketing, I have still yet to be chosen from all the studies I have applied for.

I read of good things about PaidViewPoint, Swagbucks and PrizeRebel, but all the other GPT sites I have reviewed so far have been very underwhelming. Highlighting that you can only really earn pocket change with these sites.

Pros:

  • You rarely need any special skills, just your mobile phone or internet
  • Easy to use and usually you can do this in small chunks of time.

Cons:

  • Some survey sites refuse your submitted responses (e.g. if you do not meet the criteria they want)
  • The issue of lost points/money is common across many survey sites
  • Realistically you can only make a few hundred dollars a month and you’ll earn far less than you would from a part-time or casual job if you break it down on an hourly income basis

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 1 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 1 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 1 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 1 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 1 out of 5

Online Jobs From Home

8. Virtual Assistant

If you want to hit the ground running quickly, then VA is a great option. You can use the money made to fund something else.

It’s often the important, yet time-consuming tasks that marketers delegate and that’s where VA’s come in.

Some tasks include:

  • Link Building
  • Calendar Management
  • Blog Posting
  • Travel Arrangements
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pinterest Virtual Assistant
  • Email Management
  • Research
  • Transcribing
  • Following up with clients or customers
Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Virtual Assistant

Depending on your skill set you could be doing one or all of these tasks.

There are more and more people becoming “solopreneurs” doing many of the online business options shown in this post. Solopreneurs are building an online business by themselves, often online, and eventually they need help as they outsource parts of their business and scale it upwards.

If you are interested in servicing solopreneurs or larger businesses, then you can search for VA jobs on:

  • Fiverr (or other sites like Freelancer, Upwork etc) – not great as you will often be competing on lower prices from overseas countries.
  • Network on social media (active Facebook groups are good here) – recommended

The best way to get a VA gig is to build trust by getting to know the person first.

This is really important, so read that last sentence again. You can do this by these steps:

  1. Look for where they hand out (Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter, forums or other places)
  2. Engage with them with what they do (join their email list and REPLY, comment on their blog posts, share their blog posts and social media posts)
  3. Join communities where they hang out and be helpful to people (share your knowledge, sample work, and opinions)
  4. Be proactive by finding an area you can see they need help in (e.g. do their blog posts need spell check, better images, are their social media accounts lacking, do they have a growing Facebook group that you could help manage? etc)

When you use these 4 steps you are much more likely to find clients that you want to work for. You’re also more likely to get paid a reasonable amount.

Pro tip: Experienced VA’s know how much they time would need to spend on the tasks at hand. Then knowing your desired hourly rate, you can work out how much it costs per month and aim to get that rate. Ideally aim for a “retainer package” e.g. $1,000 per month to do A, B and C (rather than $15 an hour to just do 1 task).

Pros:

  • You can use existing skills you already have e.g. posting on social media, managing Facebook groups, email management, organizing a calendar etc
  • Possible to earn $1,000+ a month online fairly quickly.

Cons:

  • Entirely active income (unless you can in turn it into a business and outsource to other VA’s)
  • Just like regular jobs, there are limits on how much time you can give to other people and how much you can earn
  • Price competition from other countries e.g. OnlineJobs.ph

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 1 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 1 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 2 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 2 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 1 out of 5

9. Freelancing

This is very similar to VA work, but generally more specific skills and higher skilled.

This typically involves providing some specific work for your clients e.g. writing blog posts (including the research), proofreading blog posts, managing a Pinterest account, editing podcasts etc.

Just like the VA’s, the 4 steps in the VA section apply again to Freelancers about finding work.

You have to learn additional skills to become a successful freelancer – the skill of finding clients is critical.

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Freelancing

In order to stand out from the price competition compared to cheaper Freelancers and VA’s from sites like OnlineJobs.ph you need to showcase your English skills and your skills in relating with the clients.

Pro tips to help you find some freelance work:

  • Have your own website to showcase your skills e.g. a “hire me” page in your top menu, adding examples to showcase your services and authority).
  • Do Guest posting for free if you want to do freelance writing
  • Connect and engage with other freelancers (Facebook groups are good to share experiences)
  • Do positive social media posts (“billboards”) with your photo, friendly and informal, offering your services.
  • Reach out to existing contacts to see if they know anyone who could use your services. Here you can explain your services – sometimes they could even need them.
  • Try the previous methods first before going to the “classified” sources i.e. online job boards such as Upwork and freelancer (otherwise you’ll be competing mainly on price with the masses)

Pro tip: Like VA’s, experienced Freelancers know how much time they would need to spend on the tasks at hand. Then knowing your desired hourly rate, you can work out how much it costs per month and aim to get that rate. Ideally aim for a “retainer package” e.g. $1,000 per month to do A, B and C (rather than $15 an hour to just do 1 task). Other ways to get paid are by the project (flat rate), but the retainer package for ongoing work is the ideal solution.

Pros:

  • You can earn consistent income and possible to earn $1,000+ a month online fairly quickly
  • You can charge higher rates over time and doesn’t require investment.

Cons:

  • Entirely active income (unless you can in turn it into a business and outsource to other Freelancers)
  • Just like regular jobs, there are limits on how much time you can give to other people and how much you can earn
  • Price competition from other countries and marketplaces e.g. OnlineJobs.ph, Freelancer.com

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 2 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 3 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 3 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 1 out of 5

10. Online Teaching/Tutor

This is a specialized form of Freelancing – teaching, tutor and including teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Online Teaching/Tutor

Particularly TEFL, If you can get qualified by passing the test and have the other qualifications, you can get started making money soon teaching others how to speak English. Tutoring websites such as Preply, iTalki, Cambly, etc.

Pros:

  • You can earn consistent income and possible to earn $1,000+ a month online fairly quickly

Cons:

  • You need to either be a teacher or pass the test to qualify for TEFL
  • Just like regular jobs, there are limits on how much time you can give to other people and how much you can earn

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 2 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 2 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 3 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 1 out of 5

Sell Things Online / Resale

You are a “middleman” and in this business the customer sees you as the owner of the product and they purchase directly from you. You don’t have to create the products yourself, you buy them from the manufacturer/creator and sell them to the customer.

You can make money by selling at a higher price than what you buy for.

The pandemic has pushed people to shop online for almost everyone, and also people who were already shopping online are increasingly buying more online. Amazon is the huge competition, but there are many other smaller stores and niche stores that are making a fair amount of sales too.

11. Dropshipping (eCommerce / Amazon FBA)

These have become incredibly popular over the last few years as a way to make money online, but profit margins are generally falling due to increased competition and rising costs.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the biggest difference between dropshipping and Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon):

  • Dropshipping is when you don’t purchase or handle inventory before the sale. You act as a middleman between suppliers and customers, so don’t need to own or store any stock.
  • Amazon FBA is when you DO purchase, own and store the inventory before the sale. This can be in an Amazon warehouse before it is sold.
Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Dropshipping
Image source: Oberlo

Also, with Dropshipping you can use Shopify, Etsy and eBay to sell the products or even your own website.

The basic steps to building a dropshipping business are:

  1. Choose a niche (dropshipping business idea)
  2. Research on the competition
  3. Choose a supplier
  4. Build your ecommerce website (your own website or Shopify is most popular (costing from $29 to $299/month, you can also use Etsy and marketplaces like eBay)
    • Amazon FBA is obviously using the Amazon marketplace
  5. Get customers. This is the most challenging and requires paid traffic (Facebook ads, other social media paid ads, Google ads etc), influencer marketing or content marketing
  6. Analyze and improve it.

Getting customers has the biggest ongoing costs and challenges. Some ways to get free traffic:

  • Influencer marketing using social media. But even micro-influencers typically charge to promote.
  • Content marketing if you have your own blog
  • Focus on building an email list (MaileLite, Mailchimp and Aweber have free options)

However, you cannot rely entirely on free traffic. So unlike affiliate marketing, niche websites or blogging where you would use SEO and writing articles using keywords, this is more limited for drop shipping and eCommerce stores.

So you will also need to budget to invest in paid traffic (Facebook ads, Google ads etc) to bring potential customers to your store.

Pros:

  • You don’t need to store inventory
  • No need to create products
  • No need to write long articles

Cons:

  • Low profit margins – being highly competitive, you’ll find you spend a lot more of your time just to try to earn an income
  • You need a lot of time, energy and effort to find helpful products to promote (including quality product photos and detailed specifications)
  • As competition increases, the cost of ads on multiple platforms is increasing. If you are not committed to your online shop, you will be wasting money.
  • You will probably need to invest time and learn skills or do training to create ads i.e. copy writing and marketing
  • You can lose a lot of money if your ads do not work
  • Stock issues – shortages, no control over supply chain and increasing costs
  • Customer Service Issues (payments, returns, shipping issues and customer service issues can all give you headaches)

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 4 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 3 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 5 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 3 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 3 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 2 out of 5

Compared to past years, It looks like it’s harder to succeed with dropshipping and other eCommerce methods these days given the competition and rising advertising costs etc.

Variations of eCommerce include with similar pros, cons and ratings as Dropshipping:

13. Amazon FBA

Very similar to dropshipping but with the added costs of storage with Amazon.

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Amazon FBA

14. Sell Stuff on eBay

Again very similar to dropshipping, you can basically drop ship onto eBay as a market place. Then you can also add “flea market flipping” which is buying things cheap locally and selling them on. These are both time intensive.

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home  - Sell Stuff on eBay

15. Sell Your Arts and Crafts Online

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Sell Your Arts and Crafts Online

It’s become increasingly popular to use only platforms like Etsy so sell arts, crafts, even handmade face masks online. These can be either products you create (if you are the creative type) or buy like dropshipping.

Online Business Ideas

16. Start a YouTube Channel

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - YouTube

Video marketing is increasingly popular and video content gets more eyeballs than other content.

This is very “active” initially, almost like a job with how much time, effort and content you have to create. But once you breakthrough to become an authority YouTube channel, then you can earn residual income.

After launching and creating quality content, the first main goal is 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours so you can monetize the channel with Google Ads.

Can have some residual/passive income but you always must be doing it so you are far more “chained” to your YouTube channel than you are with a niche website/affiliate marketing. Saying that it can be a great way for bloggers/affiliate marketers to get more authority, traffic and income.

Pros:

  • Low start up costs initially if you already have a smartphone or camera
  • You can get some free (albeit limited) content promotion from YouTube i.e. suggested videos
  • Room to grow and change you content, so you can broaden your niche (compared to a niche website)

Cons:

  • Time consuming to learn and setup a filming space
  • Very “active”, almost like a job in that you need to keep creating content
  • Gear can get expensive if you want more professional videos
  • You don’t own your platform – YouTube can issue strikes, remove your content if it’s controversial, demonetize it and even remove your channel.

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 3 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 3.5 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 4.5 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1.5 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 2 out of 5

I recommend doing a good YouTube training course to ensure you can be successful sooner.

17. Podcasting

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Podcasting

Podcasts are a great way to add authority to option 1 (Blog/Affiliate marketing) and option 2 (niche website). It can also be great for experts in specific niches to earn in their own right (refer below).

Benefits of having a podcast:

  • Build your brand and your authority in your niche
  • Learn and share ideas with experts in your industry
  • Gets some loyal and targeted listeners
  • Can also make money from podcasts – paid sponsorships, selling your services, digital products or affiliate products.

Experts in specific areas can turn their podcast into their main income. For example Bitcoin podcaster Stephan Livera has been at it since 2018 and is ranked in the top 0.5% of podcasts globally.

Pros:

  • Can be quite enjoyable – you get to talk about the topics you are passionate about
  • You can start easily and for low cost, it takes very little equipment to start.
  • You get to network with incredible people in your industry that you wouldn’t normally get to speak to.

Cons:

  • Very “active”, almost like a job in that you need to keep creating podcasts to keep the money coming in
  • Time zones can be tricky when you connect with people on the other side of the world.

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 3 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 3 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 4 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1.5 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 2 out of 5

Technical Online Work

18. Build Websites

If you have never done this before, this can appear to be very difficult to do.

But these days, it has never been easier to build your own website. I built mine in a few minutes thanks to the tools and training in my #1 recommendation.

I had no idea how to code and didn’t know anything about website design before this website you are reading right now.

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home - Build Websites

By using WordPress you can use plugins, particularly block builders, that make the design of your website very good as well as extremely fast.

There are thousands of themes you can choose for a website, either free or paid versions. So you can change the design and appearance of your website to make it stand out just by changing to a different theme. All without knowing how to code.

Block Builders like GenerateBlocks Pro make this even easier to do now to fully design websites without any code and be super fast (unlike page builders).

Here are tips for building websites as a side hustle:

  • Look for a small business or entrepreneur who has a low quality website or wants to build one (same approach as per VA’s earlier – join Facebook groups and build relationships with people)
  • Deliver above expectations for your first client (take time to really understand what they would like and do it for a reasonable price)
  • After you know how to do this, use it as a testimonial and example for a bigger client in the same industry.

Pros:

  • People are willing to pay great money for a high quality website
  • You help people by meeting their specific needs

Cons:

  • Initially you have a learning curve for creating websites how you like them and to meet the clients needs.
  • Clients may ask for more technical things that you know how to do. But you can outsource those parts as you learn them over time.

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 4 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 3 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 5 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 4.5 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1.5 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 1 out of 5

Check out my number 1 recommendation where there are many members successful in selling websites. Here’s an example of somebody selling a website for $40k.

As you increase your skills and services offered you can become a Digital Marketing Agency (advanced skills and experience).

Other Business Opportunities

19. Generate Leads for Local Businesses (Local Lead Generation)

This is also known as Rank and Rent SEO and requires advanced skills. Here you would build a website that creates leads for local businesses, then get paid per lead. You need additional skills to also track the leads and negotiate sales with clients.

Pros:

  • When you can rank for keywords on Google and search engines, you can get constant traffic and leads for local businesses which you can sell.

Cons:

  • You need to invest some time learning how to create websites, SEO and creating content to get found on Google
  • Rank and rent is super competitive and over saturated these days
  • Pandemic has hurt a lot of local business and their ability to pay
  • A lot of competition is using exact match titles
  • Google is pushing everything down with ads
  • Costs of paid traffic and learning this (social media, search engines, retargeting ads)

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 4.5 out of 5
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 4 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 3 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 2 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 3 out of 5

20. Build a Personal Brand (including Social Media Influencers)

You can build a personal brand through various ways that can help you in any business and many parts of life. You can build a personal brand from:

  • Building a blog or website (discussed above)
  • Building a YouTube channel (discussed above)
  • Doing Podcasting (discussed above)
  • Social Media influencer e.g Twitter, Facebook, Twitter etc

The first three were covered above and great ways to build your brand, so we’ll focus here on Social Media influencers.

When you build your personal brand you are building an audience that knows you, can connect with you and you build this trust over time. By doing this, when you come to sell something in the future, you already have people around the world that know and trust you.

Crucial here in building your brand is to always be totally honest and yourself. If you are not an expert or famous yet, you can be genuine and take you audience “along your journey”.

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home Social media influencer

Pros:

  • It is not that much more work to take pictures and videos to share your experiences and what you are doing
  • Can make money from sponsorships like Instagram brand deals
  • If you are also doing YouTube you can get YouTube sponsorships and ad revenue

Cons:

  • It takes time to build a personal brand that you can monetize
  • Initially you can feel like you are putting in a lot of work without seeing rewards

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 3 out of 5 (but takes time)
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 3 out of 5
  • Income Potential: 3 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 1 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 3 out of 5

You could start out as a micro-influencer on Instagram and charge around $40 a post (there are marketplaces for this) and over time you could build up to be someone like Katy Belotte who it reported to charge between $2,400 and $5,000 for a sponsored post on her Instagram.

21. Network Marketing / MLM

Network Marketing or Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is a business opportunity where distributors (also known as “consultants”) get paid commissions for selling products. The bigger earnings come from recruiting other distributors and getting a percentage of their sales. Then you can also earn a percentage of the sales from the recruiting and sales of the distributors you recruit, and so on down the levels.

The MLM companies offer various ways for people to get paid to encourage them to sell and recruit more. There are many outstanding distributors “at the top” who achieve great incomes.

However, in reality, many do not earn much income at all. There are many studies and statistics that show that the extreme majority of people don’t make much money from MLM companies:

To be fair, there are some amazing success stories for people in MLM too, particularly those with an “X Factor”. This X Factor can come from having a very wide network, being able to recruit and lead in significant numbers (e.g. in certain cultural communities), new company launches and new country launches for MLM companies.

More and more MLM distributors are leveraging the power of the internet and social media to build their businesses.

If you are contemplating starting with an MLM company, see if you can find one which meets these criteria:

  • ✅ High quality products
  • ✅ Founders have integrity and vision for highest quality products in their industry
  • ✅ Low start up costs
  • ✅ Not required to carry inventory
  • ✅ Good compensation plan
  • ✅ A system like affiliate commissions (so you can sell online)
  • ✅ Company is in early momentum phase (or new country launches)

It’s also worth being aware that many MLM companies are simply pyramid schemes in disguise. Meaning they offer a “product or service” but in reality the only way you get paid good money is by recruiting more distributors into the MLM company.

Take a look at this 5 minute video to see how to keep away from a pyramid scheme

Pros:

  • Usually there are lucrative benefits and bonuses e.g. luxury travel, car prizes and enticing bonuses
  • If you can recruit and build a good “downline” you can make passive income

Cons:

  • The vast majority of members lose money.
  • In reality, if you stop working on the business (selling and recruiting) you will stop making money unless you get to the very high levels.
  • It is always competitive and usually involves “selling” the products or opportunity to your family and friends to try getting more recruits and sales.
  • You really need to have an X Factor including outstanding people skills to be able to influence people and sell the products and vision.

Ratings:

  • Difficulty: 5 out of 5 (requires X factor)
  • Initial Investment: 2 out of 5
  • Skill Level Required: 5 out of 5 (requires X factor)
  • Income Potential: 5 out of 5
  • Low risk and can be scaled/automated: 2 out of 5
  • Residual or Passive Income: 3 out of 5

Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home You Can Start Today – Summary

So there you go. Here are 20+ legitimate ways to make money online from home. It will take time and effort to earn a four figure monthly income from many of these. As a general rule, I say to give it 2 years of complete dedication before deciding whether it is working for you.

Here’s some hard reality…

This is not taught in schools.

You will need to seek our mentors and courses to learn some of these skills.

Are you going to start with any of these real ways to make money online from home? Or have you had success with any other creative ways to make money online from home?

Also, please share this post with your friends and anyone you know struggling or aspirational who wants to make money online from home.

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About John Stanley

John is a Father, Husband, Entrepreneur and Internet Marketing Support Coach. Ever since he started his Online Business he loves working from anywhere and the laptop lifestyle.  This means being closer to our child as she grows up.  When he’s not building websites, he’s spending precious time with our little girl and family, exercising and enjoys travelling.

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2 thoughts on “20+ Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online From Home [You Can Start Today]”

  1. Wow what a great article! I have been searching for different legitimate ways to make money online and I am so glad I found this page! I recently realized that I was signed up for Fiverr but I have never used it. 

    I also didn’t know anything about dropshipping but as you mentioned it, I see it can be very good for start right?!

    Reply
    • Great to hear Sunny and I’m glad you learned a lot from this article.
      In terms of dropshipping, this is a business model that I personally I would not choose.  Yes there have been some great successes over the years – like Rene Delgado and also Biahieza has a dropshipping course that I reviewed so more and more people have attempted it.

      From what I have researched it looks like it’s harder to succeed with dropshipping these days.  If you read my “Cons” list there are many challenges faced all causing rising costs, rising competition and lower profit margins. 

      Reply

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