How to Make Money Online

Whether you're looking to start a small side hustle or you're willing to invest a lot of time in a second job, there are tons of opportunities online. The options range from making a few bucks through surveys to building a second career and creating a blog that might attract a few ads.

How to Make Money Online

When it comes to online opportunities, we've found that the old adage still holds true: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We've compiled all the tips and cons and listed five legitimate ways to make money online. This compilation includes links to the opportunities, brief details about how they work, and things to keep in mind when signing up for these rewarding opportunities.

Make money by investing your time

  • Survey Locations

Your opinion is a valuable commodity on the Internet. There are many sites that offer free memberships to take online surveys and earn rewards. These rewards come in the form of a small amount of cash offered to you through PayPal or gift cards earned by accumulating points.

By using these sites, you won't make a lot of money quickly - more like a few dollars per survey - but if you spend a lot of time on the Internet, consider this option to help make that time more productive.

If you're going to go this route, please be careful. No legitimate site will ever ask you for money, social security numbers, credit card information, or your full address. Here are some trustworthy sites to consider:

  • Opinion Outpost

Some other survey sites (such as Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars) don't just allow you to earn money by taking surveys. Options include watching videos, shopping online, searching the web, or playing games.

In addition to offering surveys, 20|20 Research hosts live and online roundtable market research discussions, where you can earn even more by simply sharing your thoughts on products (between $50 and $350, depending on the site). User testing pays you $10 to spend about 20 minutes browsing the site or app, completing some assigned tasks, and then providing verbal feedback.

Make money by selling stuff

  • Craigslist

This is basically an online garage sale. From furniture (new, used, or antique) to cars (parts and vehicles) to video games and electronics, you can post anything you want to sell on Craigslist. Each post is free (unless you're posting a job), and you can categorize the item so that it sits in the right category on the page for potential buyers. This is a great way to sell your items locally, but be wary of anyone who wants you to ship your items; they could be scammers looking to take your stuff without payment.

  • Ebay

If you're looking to sell your items to a wider audience, consider using the online auction site eBay. The auction format can even trigger bidding wars, which can push up the price of the items for sale. Another benefit is that the site has more control over the flow of money than Craigslist, so scammers are less likely to catch you off guard. But this security comes at a price; eBay charges a commission on your sales.

How to Make Money Online

Make money by selling your skills

  • Writing a blog

If you have the time and talent to invest and can come up with a topic that will increase traffic to your blog site, then you can make money by selling ads or products through that site. Most free blog creation sites do not allow you to profit from your content, so make sure you use a site that does not have these restrictions. Here are some sites recommended by blogging experts:

  • org (needs to include hosting sites like
  • Wix (paid version)
  • SquareSpace (paid version)
  • Create

For creative types, the Internet is full of opportunities to sell their wares. Crafters and artists can create their own online storefronts to sell handmade goods through Etsy. According to Etsy, more than 33 million people have purchased items from the site. Etsy charges 20 cents to post items for sale and a 5 percent transaction fee and 3 percent payment processing fee after an item is sold.

Sites like Zazzle allow you to create your own designs and then print them on a variety of products sold on the site. Zazzle will pay royalties for any designs you purchase on their products, and you can create a storefront for free.

Skilled photographers can sell their photos online through sites like Shutterstock and 500 px. Shutterstock also buys film clips, illustrations and customized music. These sites are looking for unique, high-quality images that have commercial value, so don't be surprised if your amateur photos are rejected.

  • Being Connected

If you work in a client-based field, you can use the Internet to help you connect with clients on sites like UpWork or Fiverr. They will also help make sure you get paid. These sites connect clients with employees who have skills ranging from writing to software development.

  • work remotely

Flexible workplaces are becoming more common, which means more and more people are working from home. If you're a construction worker or a bartender, you're out of luck here. But if all you need is an internet connection to be productive, you can search sites like FlexJobs and We Work Remotely to find jobs that don't require a commute. If you want to broaden your search, go to any of the popular job search sites such as Monster or Indeed and use filters and keywords such as remote, flexible and work from home.

How to Make Money Online

Make Money Shopping (and Saving)

Earn cash back on products you would have bought through cash back sites. Cashback sites turn the consumerism and convenience of online shopping into an easy way for users to earn money. For example, Ebates connects you with retailers. These retailers then provide Ebates with a commission, which Ebates splits with you.

Another popular cashback site is BeFrugal, where you can get up to 40% cashback on purchases at around 5,000 stores (this is the extreme case, most percentages are much lower than that). By comparison, Ebates offers cash back at about 2,500 stores.

  • earn money by betting
  • online gambling

If you live in a state that allows online gambling or are traveling, you're in luck (pun intended). The legal online betting environment is complex, but you can check out Play USA's summary of where you can place your bets.

  • bet on yourself

Losing weight while making money is my dream. HealthyWage offers individuals or teams the opportunity to bet on their own weight loss. The Weight Loss Challenge offers various monetary rewards if you successfully reach the milestones identified by HealthyWage. Of course, if you lose, the money you put in is gone. However, financial incentives can be a good motivator.