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The Complete Guide to Making Money Online in 2020

Making Money Online

With the rising cost of day-to-day expenses, more people across the globe are afraid of facing long-term financial issues. Research by TD Ameritrade shows that half of Americans believe that the high cost of essential commodities is the greatest threat to their financial health.

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The cost of food, energy, and medical care keeps going up every day, causing Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers to worry about their financial future. To secure your financial future, it is now more important than ever to learn how to make money online.

How Long Does It Take to Make Money Online?

While there’s an assortment of blogs on the web about making money online, most of them do not explain how long it takes for an individual to start earning from their online business. Some successful entrepreneurs claim that it took them six months to build their full-time online business while others earn their first coin after one year.

If you think money will start rolling into your account as soon as you launch your online business, then you are wrong. However, with a huge following, an established client base, or a well-known name (celebrity), you can expect to start monetizing your online business within a few days.

So, how soon can I start making money online from my online business? There is no exact answer to this question. Instead of focusing on how quickly you can get your first coin, it is essential to learn factors that determine your business success in the competitive digital space. Some of the determinants include:

Creativity

Creativity is the mother of business success regardless of whether it is online or offline. The more creative you are, the quicker you’ll start earning money online. Research ranks creativity as the key determinant for the future success of businesses alongside other factors such as management, discipline, integrity, and vision.

Being creative means you think outside the box. It also means the willingness and motivation to learn even if you fail. Tucker Marion, an associate professor at Northeastern University says that “creativity is essential in business because it’s a differentiator”

As long as you are a creative thinker, you can quickly fix issues that may arise in the early stages of your online business. By doing so, you speed up the process of building your full-time online income.

Financial Resources

Just like other investments, starting an online business requires some money. You’ll need to set up a budget for marketing, content creation, internet connection, and website development. The amount of money you are willing to invest in your business plays a role in how it turns out in the long term. If you invest more, you are likely to get more profit.

While having more financial resources makes it easier to start your online business, it does not necessarily mean you’ll succeed. What is important is the value you provide. If you add no value, you’ll not get a return on your investment.

Just like a baby, the business must undergo three critical stages:  infancy, toddlerhood, and maturity. At infancy, it requires your attention, time, and money and may not be as profitable as you expect. The great thing about online business is that once it reaches the maturity stage, you’ll start seeing a constant flow of money in your account. However, even at maturity, your business will require attention and effort to thrive.

Positive Mindset

An online business is full of hurdles during its infancy stage. Nine out of 10 online businesses fail at this stage as a result of factors like insufficient capital, superior competition, and the wrong team.

As an entrepreneur, you need to remain positive no matter the challenges you encounter. For example, you might think your clients have gone to seek services elsewhere when you don’t get their emails or phone calls. Instead of entertaining negative thoughts, focus on bettering your craft, and staying optimistic.

Having a positive mindset can quickly turn a bad situation into a good one. No matter how intense the challenges get, positive thinking will help you stay grounded and enable you to keep pushing your business to the next level.

So, how long does it take to start earning money online? It can be weeks, months, or years before you start making money from your online business. What matters is to embrace the challenges, have a positive mindset, and stick to your vision.

Methods for Making Money Online

You can earn money online through the following methods:

  • Selling products
  • Selling services
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Advertisement

Let’s take a closer look at each method:

Selling Products

Gone are the days when people used to purchase products solely from traditional market stores. Thanks to the internet and e-commerce, buying items is now possible through the internet. This has opened new opportunities for people looking to create income online through selling. If you want to make money online, here are some digital products you can start selling:

1. eBooks

Have you ever wanted to sell an eBook? If you are a writer, blogger, or entrepreneur, your obvious answer is YES! There are plenty of third-party websites where you can upload your work, market it, and find new customers.

And yes, signing up for these sites is free. Let us discuss a few third party websites you can consider when planning to make some money through selling eBooks.

Selz.com

This site is one of the best. It not only allows you to list your eBook but also create your own store for selling other products such as clothes, food, and electronic gadgets. The advantage of Selz.com is that they don’t charge you hosting or sign up fees.

While signing up for Selz.com is free, the website offers premium services where you can list an unlimited number of products. This paid service starts from $13 and comes with plenty of perks, including the option of customizing your sales’ store page.

Smashwords.com

When talking about big indie eBook publishers, distributors, and sellers in the world of publication, Smashwords tops the chart. It allows storytellers to publish and sell their work through other publishers such as kobo, overdrive, oyster, and iBooks.

One of the unique benefits of using Smashwords is the assortment of features it offers including marketing tools, free ISBN, and eBook conversion. If you are looking for a website to host and sell your eBooks, sign up for Smashwords, and start earning. What’ more, the registration is free.

Tradebit.com

Whether you are a technical writer or poet, Trade Bit enables you to publish your eBook within seconds. By creating a merchant account, you can quickly upload your content and start selling.

With 3m+ users, writers are likely to close a deal within a few days. Other than eBooks, Trade Bit hosts all kinds of downloadable materials like repair manuals, movies, pictures, and software.

The above three websites are just examples of platforms where you can sell your eBooks online. Other incredible websites include:

  • Book baby
  • Pay hip
  • Fiverr
  • Amazon
  • Lulu
  • And many others

The reason you should consider selling your eBook through these platforms is that you will expose your work to millions of readers across the world. This makes it easier for you to sell. Although the sites take some commission from the sales, they are worth consideration.

2. Online Courses

With the coronavirus outbreak, learning institutions have been closed due to safety concerns. This means students are no longer in schools. As a result, most parents are looking for strategies to keep their kids engaged during the continued Covid-19 restrictions.

So how can we ensure that kids continue to learn while they stay at home? This is where eLearning comes in. If you have experience in teaching or coaching, you should think about selling online courses.

Here are some incredible statistics that depict online learning as a great opportunity for digital teachers.

  • About 80% of online students are working which means they are likely to buy online materials.
  • By 2026, the remote learning market is predicted to be worth $336 billion.
  • Most of the students are purchasing online learning materials in the form of videos, images, audio, texts, and PDFs.
  • IBM saved $200 million after switching to e-learning.
  • The growth rate of eLearning is 900%, and it continues to grow.

With the above statistics, investing in e-courses is a viable venture for an individual planning to make money online. To thrive in this field, you need to create virtual classes and learning materials with well-structured content, and learning objectives.

You might be asking yourself “who will buy my course?” Or “where can I sell my e-course?” Here are a few platforms where you can sell online courses.

  • Thinkific
  • Learn Worlds
  • Teachable
  • Podia
  • Zippy courses

When selecting the best platform, think about the tools it offers, hosting fees, and traffic. It is always wise to do further research before signing up on any platform.

3. Software

When computers entered the market for the first time in 1800, they were thought to be devices for the privileged or corporate world. By 2016, computers had become a major part of everyday life for many people. This is shown by 83 percent of households having a computer (either a desktop, laptop, or tablet) and an internet connection, according to the American Community Survey.

The results of the American Community Survey imply that there are more people using computers across the globe. This makes it easy for online marketers to display their products to a large audience. The fact that three out of four Americans own either a desktop or laptop means that the software market is a lucrative industry for those planning to make money online.

So why should you consider selling software online? The simple answer is that the software market will continue to evolve as more appliances are developed into smart devices. For example, cars, sunglasses, watches, and household appliances being advanced into digital devices.

If you are not yet convinced to start selling software online, here are a few opportunities to think about:

  • Telehealth: As healthcare providers continue to deliver healthcare via remote technology, they need software to successfully offer their services.
  • Kids’ games: There is a high demand for computer programs to help kids play games, do artworks, and complete their schoolwork.
  • CPA: Accounting and business professionals are looking for software to help them with bookkeeping and other business needs.
  • Education: Schools and colleges are shifting to eLearning and need computer programs to conduct remote learning successfully.

With the above information, it’s crystal clear that everyone needs software. If you are looking for a way to earn money online, you can start by selling software packages.

And the big question is: where can I sell my software online? Whether you want to sell games, education programs, or any type of software, there are plenty of free online software ecommerce stores that you can sign up and list your products. Here are a few you should consider:

Note: Always read the terms and conditions for these platforms before getting started!

Selling Services

There are 100+ unique services you can sell online. Fortunately, most of them don’t even require huge financial resources to start. As long as you have the skills to solve people’s challenges, you are good to go.

Here are some services you can offer remotely and make good money:

4. Freelance Copywriting

Businesses are looking for tactics to build their brand reputation, improve their online presence as well as bring in new leads. This has created a high demand for content marketing.

If you have impeccable grammar and a passion to create content, you can make more than $100 per day through writing. Some of the content you can write include web content, press releases, blog posts, white papers, social media content, and email marketing campaigns.

However, one of the biggest challenges with freelance copywriting is finding legitimate jobs. This is because it is easy to land on the hands of scammers who offer writing gigs and fail to pay.

Now to the million-dollar question: where can I find legitimate freelance writing jobs? Here are some authentic platforms where you can apply or pitch for writing:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Flex jobs
  • Solid gigs
  • ProBlogger
  • Guru

Having plenty of opportunities for content writing jobs doesn’t mean there’s no competition. Writers are competing to find high paying jobs, and few can get them. If you want to be part of these ‘few lucky writers’, start by choosing a niche before becoming a copywriter.

Clients are looking for people who can solve their specific problems. This means they are likely to hire a writer with a specific niche profile rather than a general storyteller. For example, if you brand yourself as a health writer, you’re more likely to get hired for health-related writing assignments compared to someone with a general niche portfolio.

5. Online Proofreading

Proofreading is one of the easiest ways to make money online. By just polishing content before publication, you can earn on average $51, 305 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.

Here are a few questions you should think about before finding online proofreading jobs:

  • Do you quickly pick up grammatical and spelling errors when reading new content offline or online?
  • Do you know where to insert commas? Do you know all the common referencing styles such as APA, MLA, and CLM?
  • Do you understand the use of H1, H2, and H3 when creating blog posts and web content?
  • What about personal attributes such as self-motivation, the ability to take care of details, and working without supervision?

If you answer “yes” to the above questions, then proofreading is for you.

The biggest obstacle when working as an online proofreader is finding legitimate editing jobs. When you type “online proofreading jobs”, Google brings a list of companies and platforms looking for editors, but not all are genuine.

So, who hires online proofreaders? Check out the list below:

  • Book Editing Associates
  • Domainite
  • English Trackers
  • Editor Live
  • Scribe Media
  • Polished Paper
  • And so much more!

If you have a passion for reading and fixing grammatical errors, you can further hone your skills by enrolling in General Proofreading: Theory and Practice Course at Proofread Anywhere. The great thing about this course is that you’ll learn general and transcript proofreading as well as tactics to take your editing business to the next level.

6. Teach English Online

Becoming an English online teacher is very easy. If you are a native English speaker holding a Bachelor’s degree in any field coupled with an ESL teaching experience, opportunities for online teaching are plenty.

To help you get started, here are some companies hiring online teachers:

VIPKID

With its headquarters in Beijing, VIPKID is the largest English online learning company. It’s currently working with over 300,000 students and 40,000 teachers.

The company is hiring fluent English speakers living in Canada and the USA. As a VIPKID teacher, you’ll be teaching English online to Chinese Kindergartenersto grade 9 students. Teachers at VIPKID make $14-$22 per hour. You can learn more about working at VIPKID here.

GoGoKid

To become a teacher at GoGoKid, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree and teaching experience. The company is currently hiring applicants from the USA and Canada to teach English online to Chinese students.

As a GoKokid teacher, you can make up to $25 per hour teaching in kindergarten to grade 6 students. For more information on how to apply for this position, visit the GoGoKid website.

DaDa

Are you looking for the highest paying online teaching companies? DaDa can pay you between $15 and $25 per hour. As a DaDa teacher, your role is to teach English online to Chinese kindergarteners up to grade 9 students.

The good thing about this company is that it hires all fluent English speakers across the globe, unlike other companies that prefer North American applicants. As long as you possess a Bachelor’s Degree coupled with impeccable grammar, you can apply for this position here.

Qkids

If you hold a Bachelor’s degree and ESL Certificate, Qkids is looking for you. The company hires Canadian or US residents who want to teach English online to Chinese kindergarteners up to grade 9 students.

As a Qkids teacher, you should expect to earn a base pay of $16 per hour plus other bonuses. Other benefits Qkids teachers get include performance and attendance bonuses. If you want to be part of Qkids online teaching staff, visit our website for more information.

Whales English

Whales English pays up to $26 per 50 minutes, which is relatively higher than other companies. As a Whales English tutor, you will teach students from elementary to high school levels.

To be part of Whales Online teaching staff, you MUST be an English native speaker, completed a Bachelor’s degree, and hold a teaching certificate. This company prefers teachers with at least one year of experience. Apply for teaching English online here.

Skooli

Skooli is the best place for both retired and working teachers looking for ways to supplement their income. Teachers in this company make up to $25 per hour, which is paid via PayPal every time it reaches $100.

Skooli hires teachers with at least a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. As a Skooli teacher, you are expected to teach certain levels such as middle school, high school, or university, based on your academic qualification and area of specialization. Visit the Skooli website for more details.

The list is endless and there are more opportunities for those willing to teaching kids online. Read a comprehensive guide about genuine companies that let you teach English online here.

7. Online Transcription

One of the easiest methods to make money online is through transcription. Most professionals (such as doctors, lawyers, researchers, etc.) want their audio interviews to be converted into written scripts.

If listening to audio and writing it down on paper seems something you can do, then there are plenty of opportunities for you. As a transcriber, you can make $15-$25 per hour. For you to make more money, make sure you specialize in medical and legal transcription.

These are two fields that pay more than $25 per hour, even if you are a newcomer transcriptionist. You can find these higher-paying medical and legal transcription jobs at Transcribe Anywhere, Quicktate, TranscribeMe, Crowdsurf, and Rev.

8. Become an Online Video Editor

Video production is growing fast in this century which has increased the demand for editors. As the competition between big content-creating companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and Disney continues, more video content is being created, and it needs editors.

If you have the skills to edit raw footage into viral content by using the right software, you can easily make up to $27 per hour, according to the ZipRecruiter.

So, where can you find genuine online video editing work? There are several freelance platforms you can sign up and get paid as a remote video editor. One of the most popular platforms you can start working on is UpWork.

The likelihood of finding great video editing deals is also higher in the following platforms:

  • ProductionHub
  • Mandy.com
  • Fiverr
  • TopTal
  • Freelancer

Besides the above options, there are dating sites that offer video editing work as well. The avenues for finding online video editing jobs are limitless as long as you have the time to submit your pitches.

10. Take Online Surveys

Just by sharing your views about a political candidate, features of a specific smartphone, or a given brand, you can earn extra dollars. The truth about taking online surveys is that it won’t make you rich. However, it’s a great side hustle for supplementing your monthly income.

According to new research, about 70% of experienced online survey takers revealed that they make $6-$10 per hour. This data implies that working as a survey taker can be an excellent opportunity to earn quick cash online.

There are many survey companies available on the web. However, some of them are not legit, and others pay as little as $1 per hour. If you want to earn a little higher, here are a few legit survey companies you can consider:

SwagBucks: This is one of the most popular survey companies globally. Once you sign up with them, you can start earning money by watching videos, taking surveys, playing games as well as shopping.

MintVine: To get paid at MintVine, you need to take a survey and agree to try out new products and services they are suggesting to you. The greatest advantage of working with this company is that they pay in cash when your earning reaches $10.

Opinion Outpost: As a member of Opinion Outpost, you’ll be selected to participate in a survey and earn opinion points. The more points you earn, the more money you make.  For you to be paid $10, you must have 100 opinion points.

Vindale Research: If you live in Canada and want to earn up to $75 per survey, sign up for Vindale Research. Joining this high paying online survey company is easy. You only have to sign up and start earning by giving unique opinions.

11. Do Graphic Design

Graphics are everywhere. You can see them on YouTube, Google, and even social media. Since more businesses have gone online, graphic designers are in demand. You don’t have to be employed by traditional companies and work in their offices as a graphic designer. Instead, you can make more money in this digital era while working at home.

The best thing about being a graphic designer is that you charge the work per graphic as opposed to hourly rates. If you want to get high paying clients as well as stay ahead of the game, you must consider honing your skills. To accomplish this, you should sign up for graphic design courses.

One of the popular courses you can enroll in if you want to sharpen your designing skills is Kim’s Graphic Design for Beginners. And yes, this course is free! However, if you want some help in creating your typography then you can choose Kim’s Designing with Typography Course.

So where can you find online graphic design jobs? If you are wondering where to start looking for remote jobs, below are a few websites where you can sign up and submit your pitches.

  • Guru
  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Toptal

The above portals are great because they help designers find clients quickly. They also protect clients from scammers. By working with the above companies, you can be sure of payment.

12. Submit a Guest Post

Other than improving your domain authority, building a portfolio, and boosting your website’s online presence, becoming a guest contributor has financial benefits as well. You can earn up to $100 for one submission.

To get started, you should be a great writer with the ability to create concise and compelling content. You also need to be an expert in a specific niche such as health, business, auto, yoga, etc.

While many sites accept guest posts, most of them don’t pay writers for their submissions. Fortunately, some websites are willing to pay for guest posts. If you want to get paid as a contributor, consider these sites:

  • Doctor of Credit
  • The Great Escape
  • Daily Worth
  • Fresh Books Blog
  • Funny Times
  • The Penny Hoarder
  • Just Parents
  • ListVerse
  • International Living

The above are just a few websites that pay for guest-posting although there are more others on the web. Just type “write for us” into a search engine like Google and investigate each website before submitting your article. Do not assume you’ll be paid unless they have indicated payment in their submission guidelines.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is growing fast. Both big and small companies are inviting people to join their affiliate program. One of the popular referral programs is the amazon associate. Here, members display amazon products on their websites and earn a commission when customers purchase them via their affiliate links.

If you want to succeed in affiliate marketing, you must create a ton of traffic. This can take a year or two before you start realizing good earnings.

One of the biggest obstacles for affiliate marketing is the slowness of making money. The process of convincing customers to buy someone else’s products or services tends to be slow compared to marketing your own products.

Another downside of affiliate marketing is that you only receive payment when you close the deal. Referring is one step, which doesn’t mean the customer will purchase the item or services. This process makes it slow when it comes to generating income.

The good thing about affiliate marketing is that once it picks up, you’ll start making thousands of dollars every month. In reality, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to become a millionaire when working online. It is the best passive income avenue that beats all the odds.

13. Start a Blog

More bloggers are making lots of money with their blogs. To get started, you should think about a niche you are interested in. The next step is to choose a domain name as well as hosting plan, and finally launch your website.

Once your website goes live, you can start figuring out the companies you want to work with as an affiliate. In simple terms, affiliate marketing is the art of referring customers, friends, followers, audience, neighbors, family, or colleagues to someone’s else online store.

No matter the niche you choose, there is always an affiliate program for you. For example, if you specialize in home improvement, you can join affiliate networks and promote household items. These include products such as mattresses, paint, furniture, bathroom accessories, electronics, and much more.

For you to make good money through affiliate marketing, you need to create great content: Content is, and will always be the KING. As long as you post catchy headlines and quality content, you’ll sell.

Do you want to sign up for top best affiliate marketing networks in the world? Here are the best affiliate programs you should put on your list:

  • Amazon Associate
  • Slim Links
  • Share a Sale
  • Click Bank
  • Rakuten
  • CJ Affiliate

People out there are making lots of money with affiliate marking. So what is the secret behind their success?

Planning + Honesty+ Positive Mindset

Just like any kind of business, planning is the first step to take if you want to become a successful entrepreneur. Honesty is also crucial even if you are selling someone else’s products or services. Therefore, try as much as you can to provide honest reviews about the items.

Deception in affiliate marketing is a recipe for failure. As such, make sure you disclose the benefits and limitations of the services or items you are promoting. Lastly, don’t lose hope because affiliate marketing is a process that might take time before you start earning significant amounts of income.

Paid Advertisements

How many times have you seen ads popping up when you browse through some websites? Besides the pop-ups, you may also see banners with the tag “ad”. This is what we refer to as paid advertising.

14. Display Ads on Your Blog

This method is the easiest way to monetize your blog because you don’t have to provide information to the customers. The company displaying the ad takes that responsibility. What you’ll need to provide is advertisement space and a ton of traffic.

How do display ads work? The process is simple. You only need to place the ads on your website and wait for the web users to click on them. In some cases, instead of setting the ads yourself, you just sign up with the company and leave the rest to them.

The Best Display Ad Networks for Bloggers

With more display ads companies coming up and others closing down, creating a comprehensive list of the best networks to consider when planning to make money online can e difficult.

However, here are some of the networks you can opt for as they are well known and have been in the limelight for a decade now.

Google AdSense

With over 2 million users, AdSense is one of the popular ways bloggers make money advertising. For you to start earning with this display ad network, your website must have great content and plenty of traffic.

Mediavine

Mediavine is an excellent ad network for bloggers who want to make good money at the end of every month. Until June 2020, the minimum requirement for joining this network was 10,000 sessions per month.

With the new terms and conditions of Mediavine, you need to have a minimum of 50,000 monthly sessions before you submit your application. This has been the greatest challenge for new bloggers planning to join the network.

AdThrive

One of the biggest challenges of joining this network is their minimum traffic requirement of 100,000 monthly sessions. The high traffic requirements may be intimidating to newcomer bloggers.

The good news is that even if you don’t get approved, AdThrive gives you helpful tips on how to monetize your blog. If you follow up on the reason for your application rejection, AdThrive will provide detailed information on how to increase your chances of getting on board.

Fomo Ads

Fomo Ads is the best ad network for new bloggers. The process of joining this ad network is easy. What makes Fomo a great choice is that its PPV revenue is $2 per 1,000 impressions, which is higher than what any ad network can offer for new bloggers.

With powerful customization tools for designing ads, Fomo allows you to decide where to display their push notification ads on your website. The good news is that you get paid on the 10th day of every new month.

Ezoic

If you don’t get accepted by the big ad networks such as Mediavine and AdThrive, joining Ezoic could be the best route to take. While most advertiser networks prefer websites with traffic from the US and Canada, Ezoic is a bit diverse. Ezoic displays ads that are relevant to all readers across the globe.

As long as you’ve 10,000 monthly visitors, you can apply and get accepted to Ezoic.

My Final Thoughts About Making Money Online

Making money online isn’t something easy, but people have done it and succeeded. From launching a blog and creating content to joining affiliate programs and ad networks, it’s a process that needs patience and hard work.

It may take years before you start seeing money flowing into your bank account. However, you shouldn’t give up as it pays off eventually.

Are you working online? What are some of the methods you use to make money online? If there are some legit ways that I have left out and they work for you, please let me know so that I can include them. Let’s talk in the comment box!

Elisha K. Philip

Elisha is a qualified freelance writer for hire with 6-years’ experience in blogging, web content creation, and blog post writing. He’s currently interested in teaching people how to make money online and writing articles on health, business, food, travel, lifestyle, and technology.

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