10 Surprising Ways to Make Money Online

If you’re looking for ways to make money online, then you’ve probably explored the traditional routes—becoming a freelancer and working for others or starting a side-hustle and selling your products online via platforms like Amazon and eBay. But there are plenty of ways to make money online that don’t involve the Internet; some of them even exist in plain sight.

Here are 10 surprising ways to make money online that don’t require you to be a digital nomad.

1. Start a blog

Blogs are an incredibly popular way to make money online, which is no surprise given the endless opportunities they provide for content creators. The monetization strategy behind a blog can vary but typically entails displaying ads, affiliate links, or both alongside the content.

If you’re looking to start a blog, try making your content as useful and entertaining as possible. Your target audience will appreciate your efforts and might even pay you to provide them with quality content. Consider teaching others how to improve their lives through your blog posts—if you can become the go-to source for information on your subject matter, you’ll be able to establish yourself as an expert and generate some revenue.

2. Start an online store

This is the digital nomad’s route to riches: travel the world while selling your wares online. As the name would suggest, an online store provides a platform for vendors to sell and customers to purchase goods and services via the Internet. Established stores like Amazon and eBay make it easy for anyone to start an online store with minimal effort and virtually no investment.

While travel blogging is a popular way to make money online, establishing an online store is a more robust option, particularly if you plan on selling a broad range of goods and products. If your online store takes off, you can use the momentum to scale your travels and establish yourself as a digital nomad who makes a living from the online marketplace. Some entrepreneurs even use their stores as crash pads to fund their travels—less than 48 hours and you could be sifting through your purchases to pack for your next flight.

3. Start an online tutoring business

Online tutoring is a concept that was introduced to the world in the mid-2000s. While there are a number of successful online tutoring platforms that generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue per year, many businesses emerge and then quickly disappear from the market. Since the industry is still in its infancy, you can invest as little as $100 in affiliate marketing for tutoring and earn up to $500 per month, depending on your audience size.

Tutoring is a skill that can benefit from online learning, which is why many successful online tutoring businesses exist. If you’re looking to make some extra cash without the need for a traditional job, establishing an online tutoring business is one way to go about it. You can take your pick from some of the most popular subjects, including math, science, economics, and computer programming. Even if you’re a language expert, there are plenty of opportunities for you to make money online as an English tutor due to the boom in online English-tutoring platforms like VIP Online Tutoring and Intercom.

4. Start an online magazine

Online magazines are a little bit like blogs but designed to be consumed in a digital format. Like a blog, an online magazine can be used to generate revenue by displaying ads, affiliate links, or both alongside the content. But unlike a blog, the content in an online magazine is typically delivered in an engaging format that draws readers in and keeps them coming back for more.

You don’t need a huge audience to make money with an online magazine. If your publication can pull in a few hundred thousand page views per month, you’ll be able to sustain yourself on adverts and affiliate commissions.

5. Start an online scrapbook

An online scrapbook is a digital version of a traditional scrapbook—you’ll find a complete guide to starting an online scrapbook here—with the difference being that it’s designed to be used in a web browser rather than a traditional scrapbooking kit. Since many people have the need to keep track of their family history and want to do it online, the scrapbooking industry has grown to a B2C market size of more than $16 billion per year, with the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada as the biggest markets. If you have a decent amount of tech knowledge and some free time, establishing an online scrapbook isn’t difficult and can be a quick way to make some cash.

6. Start an online pharmacy

More and more people are looking for ways to make extra money, and with the proliferation of online pharmacies, it’s a lucrative market to be in. Establishing and running an online pharmacy might require a significant amount of effort, but with the right strategy and proper execution, you can tap into this lucrative market and generate good revenue.

If you’re wondering how to make money with an e-commerce store, you could try selling pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and other dietary supplements, as well as fake and illicit drugs. You might want to establish your own pharmacy rather than work for a larger one due to the amount of freedom and control you’ll have as an independent practitioner. Since the demands of a regular pharmacy aren’t suitable for an employee’s life, many pharmacists find themselves working in an independent capacity—often making six figures per year. If running your own pharmacy seems too much work, you can become a freelance pharmaceutical consultant and earn up to $300 per hour by answering customers’ questions and providing guidance on pharmaceuticals. Just remember that this is a demanding field and you’ll need to work hard to earn and retain your clientele.

7. Start an online fashion store

Like with many other industries, the fashion industry transitioned to digital very quickly and established online stores are now a common sight. If you have an eye for fashion and a decent knowledge of design, you can start an online fashion store that sells women’s clothing and accessories. Thanks to the global positioning system (GPS), online marketplaces make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for and connect with brands and retailers that they might not have heard of before.

If you’ve been looking for a way to make some extra cash, why not try your hand at designing and running your own online fashion store? You’ll need to provide your own product, but unlike other options on this list, you won’t need to rely on the Internet for revenue. Plus, you’re guaranteed to make money no matter what.

8. Start a YouTube channel

The number of people using YouTube to find and consume content has risen to 154 million Americans per month, with 55 million of those users planning to spend money on products or services associated with the brands they’re viewing. Product tutorials and demonstration videos are some of the most popular formats on the platform, with 72 million users consuming content in this format each month.

If you have a natural talent for fashion or design and enjoy creating and sharing content related to your hobbies and interests, why not try your hand at creating YouTube videos? You can use the platform to promote your clothing and accessory designs as well as those from well-known brands and gain credibility and influence in your niche.

9. Start an Etsy store

If you have a skill—be it sewing, knitting, or graphic design—that you can turn into a product and are considering how to make some extra cash, you can sell your goods on the online marketplace Etsy. Similar to the other online stores on this list, Etsy provides a platform for entrepreneurs and small businesses to connect with customers who are seeking their products.

Etsy is a bit different from the other platforms on this list in that it doesn’t require you to own or operate a storefront. If you don’t want to set up shop and deal with the hassles of inventory and order fulfillment, you can earn money from Etsy by taking on commissioned projects and selling your designs as a print on Etsy.

10. Sign up for a survey website

If you’re looking to make money online, then there’s a decent chance that you’re aware of the multiple opportunities available to you on survey websites. If you’re not, then you might be missing out on potentially lucrative income; more than 50 million American consumers are currently registered on one of the many survey sites, including Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, OneOpinion, and Ipsos iSay.