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Start Earning Money Online

12 methods to start generating an online income.

David McDonald
May 12 · 4 min read
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Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

The internet, for many, is a completely untapped resource.

Think about it; what connects almost every single person in the world?

In 2019 it was estimated that almost 60% of the world’s population had internet access. If you’re looking to pay someone to do some work, there’s only one logical place to start. Understanding these potential opportunities can help you boost your revenue streams.

The Coronavirus has also led to an increased number of people with reduced incomes and working from home - or not at all. So it’s time to start supplementing your income or generating something that is completely passive. It is even possible to rely entirely on the income that can be made online.

Some simple methods

  1. Take online surveys. There are a number of online survey companies out there who will pay for your time. It’s simple; login, answers the questions, get money. Some will simply be questions about the news or celebrities. Others will be targeted user testing, asking you to review a product or design idea.
  2. Sell your unwanted belongings. Selling has never been easier. Online companies such as Ebay, Etsy, Amazon… the list goes on. Most of these platforms just need an account and a photo with an accompanying description of your items. Take a look through your loft or the deepest depths of your cupboards. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
  3. Get cashback on your spending. A number of credit and debit cards offer the ability to receive cash when you spend above a specified amount, or at certain retailers. Zero effort required and no change to your habits; just use a new card and you’ll get free cash for doing what you were already doing.
  4. Make your money work 1.0. Opening an online savings account can give you access to a higher interest rate. It’s always worth shopping around to find the highest rate available to you. Having your money earn more money is a key step towards financial independence.

A little more advanced

  1. Start freelancing. Everyone has a talent. Whatever yours is, I bet there’s someone else out there willing to pay for it. TaskRabbit and Craigslist can be a great place to start. Once you’ve created an account just browse the listings and apply for a task that appeals to you. Remember you’re paid on completion and at the discretion of the employer, so be sure to do a good job.
  2. Make your money work 2.0. There are many ways of opening an investment account online. Robo advisers will manage your money with minimal effort and input from you. Please bear in mind that the money you invest should be for a long period of time; recommended 5 years or more. You are likely to receive a better return here than in the savings account, but your money will rise and fall.
  3. Become a virtual assistant. Similar to freelancing, people will pay you to be their virtual assistant. Sending emails, organising their diary, taking calls. This can be a part-time or full-time job and all you really need is your laptop and a phone.
  4. Sell your photos. Photos are used everywhere. Advertisements, magazines, blogs. Yet the people using them are not likely to be the people who have the skills to take them; I can vouch for that! I use Unsplash for all of my blog photos. So if you have a particular talent for photography then utilising online platforms to sell your work can be a very effective way to generate an income.
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Photo by Alif Ngoylung on Unsplash

The online Pros

Note: these methods require a lot of online noise and social following to truly generate an income.

  1. Start your own blog. This can be done by creating your own website or writing through a publication - such as Medium. I’m in the very early stages of my online blogging journey and whilst I’m not earning millions, I make enough to pay for my subscriptions with some spare. Again, this is down to finding something you are passionate about and sharing it with others. If you don’t enjoy writing, your readers won’t enjoy reading.
  2. Earn through sponsored posts. If you have a particularly large following on any platform, companies will pay you for sponsored posts. This is most common through social media “influencers” such as Facebook and Instagram. Companies will pay them money or give them free gifts to promote their products and services online. This can be combined with point 1 above.
  3. Create an online course. If you have any skill you can teach others, it’s possible to set up an online course. There are a variety of online courses available ranging from leadership to cooking to linguistics. You can make your course available online through various platforms such as Udemy or Teachable.
  4. Become YouTube famous. In 2018 Forbes profiled the Highest-Paid YouTube Stars. 7-year old Ryan, the #1 highest-paid, had earnt an estimated $22million by doing toy reviews. Now I’m certainly not saying that anyone reading this can emulate Ryan, but if you can find the right topic and audience you can generate a healthy income from YouTube via the paid ads. It’s estimated that you can earn $3–5 per 1,000 video views.

Income at your fingertips

There are endless ways to make money online. It can be an absolute goldmine, and the methods I’ve mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. If you have some spare time and a passion (for almost anything), it’s possible to build an income stream online.


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David McDonald

Written by

Product Consultant working in the FinTech industry | Supporting financial education for all.


The Blog About Achieving Financial Freedom

David McDonald

Written by

Product Consultant working in the FinTech industry | Supporting financial education for all.


The Blog About Achieving Financial Freedom

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