It’s everyone’s dream: Making money without ever having to step foot in the office again. In the past years, working at home usually meant stuffing envelopes or selling Avon, but the Internet and cloud computing is radically changing how many companies do business. Here are the top 25 ways to make money online:
1. Design Something and Sell It
Notice we didn’t say make something. With print-on-demand (including 3D printing) technology, you don’t actually have to make something to sell. You can just design it.
From plastic iPhone cases to custom t-shirts and hoodies, thousands of people are designing new products and selling them on the Web. Speaking of selling something, if you’re not the most creative person, you can always just look through your jewelry collection and you can start pawning the items you no longer want. This is an easy way of making a bit of extra money.
2. Start a Blog and Keep at It
Few people get rich quickly from starting a blog, but people all over the world make a living doing it. To make money with a blog, pick a niche that’s not already saturated and write about what you know.
The keys to success are producing unique and daily content. It also helps if you pick a niche in which you can sell directly to advisers (as opposed to just Google Adsense).
3. Do Freelance Writing
Literally, millions of websites are hungry for quality written content, and many are willing to pay for it (like Chillopedia). The job doesn’t have as much potential as blogging, but it does offer a more reliable source of income.
Look to sites like Elance, Odesk, Freelancers, etc to get started.
4. Become an Amazon Affiliate
If you already have a website, a blog, or even a Squidoo lens, you can become an Amazon affiliate.
It’s as simple as signing up, writing about products, posting links to their location on Amazon, and earning a commission every time someone buys (known as Affiliate marketing).
5. Sell What You Don’t Want on eBay
Selling used items on eBay isn’t the most glamorous way to make money, but it works. Millions of people make tens of millions of purchases every day.
If you’re not using something anymore, why not sell it?
6. Start a Kickstarter Campaign
Crowdsourcing funding has already gotten big, and it’s only going to get bigger. If you have an idea about a new product or creative work that you’d like to start, write it up and post it on Kickstarter. People might just be willing to fund your idea.
7. Search for Computer Bugs
That might sound silly, but if you have any computer programming experience, you can make money without having to write any code. Dozens of major software vendors offer substantial bounties (often thousands of dollars) for finding security-related bugs in their software.
8. Answer Questions
Companies like ChaCha, KGB Answers, and ExpertBee hire independent contractors to answer questions that people submit online or via SMS. The fastest question-answerers say they can make as much as $15 an hour answering other people’s questions.
9. Publish eBooks
It’s the rare person who can write a best-selling fiction novel, but even short nonfiction books can make money on sites like Amazon and B&N. Write about something you know and submit it as a Kindle or Nook Book.
Sales could take off, and you might find yourself a few thousand dollars richer.
10. Trade Stock and Commodities
While not recommended for people without substantial savings, it’s definitely possible to make a living trading stock, bonds, commodities, and other financial instruments from the comfort of your home.
11. Make YouTube Comedy or How-To Series
With Google’s new YouTube video monetization options, thousands of amateur video makers are making serious money. Anything from funny cat videos to gardening how-tos can earn you cash.
12. Web Design
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Thousands upon thousands of small businesses still need websites. They’re easy to make and easy to sell if you don’t mind a bit of networking.
13. Create Apps
If you know how to code, then your skills are in demand around the world. Dozens of freelancer sites exist for people interested in developing apps while they relax on the beach.
14. Sell Your Photographs
It’s easy to make money with a good camera. Just take interesting pictures, tag them with helpful descriptions, and upload them to stock photo sites like Shutterstock and iStock.
15. Offer Virtually Any Service on Fiverr
With Fiverr.com, your creativity is the limit. Offer anything you want for $5 and see what the demand is. Services range from recording messages in a funny accent, to designing a simple business logo, to tweeting about someone else’s website.
16. Write Reviews
Several companies are willing to pay you to write reviews for them. Check websites like BestReviewer, Sponsored Reviews, and SocialSpark.
17. Make Money on Twitter
If you have a lot of followers, people are more than happy to pay to have your tweet about them or their products. Check out Adf.ly, MyLikes, Ad.ly, and TwtBuck.
18. Get a Remote Tech Support Job
An increasing number of technical support companies are looking to hire tech support agents online and deploy them in chat rooms on their websites.
19. Offer Translation Services
If you know more than one language, you can go to virtually any freelancer site and find opportunities to translate for pay. TranslationDirectory and TranslatorPub specialize in translation services.
20. Grade Standardized Tests
Testing companies like the US-based College Board are always looking for qualified individuals to score a wide variety of standardized written response tests. Qualifications usually include a Master’s degree or specialized professional knowledge (such as a teaching license).
21. Make Accurate Predictions
22. Get Paid to Take Surveys
There’s not as much money paid as there used to be. But, it’s definitely possible to make a few bucks here and there with only a few minutes of your time.
23. Rent Out a Spare Room on Airbnb
Whether you live in an apartment or a home, you can make extra money by renting out a spare bedroom—or even an empty couch—for a night or two.
24. Recycle Your Old Cell Phone
Sites like Recellular are more than happy to buy your used cell phones — as long as they work.
25. Get a Real Job
Seriously. Plenty of companies are interested in hiring both part-time and full-time employees to work remotely. Do a search for work-at-home jobs on sites like monster.com or indeed.com.