21 Ways To Make Money Online in 2017

Making Money Online

If you aren’t earning enough or any money online in this internet age... this post is for you.

Oh and also, this post is a guide for those who seek for online startups ideas.

 Going through a lot of tips on how to make money online and still struggle at doing so is one thing i can relate to - i started out in 2013, tried out a lot online businesses, earned money from a few and made a lot of mistakes.

I know what you're thinking: "​But how true is it about making money online? I have read similar articles but came out with nothing" 

 But, during the process of trying, i discovered a few secrets about making money online. And i'm going to share them with you before we go further.

Here are 4 things you weren't been told about making money online:

  • First of all, if you want to get paid online you have to put in a good effort at the start. Notice, i said at the start. You have to choose to sacrifice a few hours daily or weekly.
  • Try to learn the process, take a few great course online to put you on the right path or you could end up spending a lot of time making mistakes before getting it right. 
  • Choose your role models and forget about the rest. You'll come across hundreds of role models with good information online. You'll waste time and focus if you try to pay attention to them all.
  • Having a blog is definitely a huge plus for online earners. And also a good social media following (they both build up your online credibility). Can you do without these two? Yes... but you'll make way more money with them.

I spent time compiling top rated sites, courses and other details for each startup to get you started.

My target is to list over 50 lucrative online income ideas. I’m still trying out a few at the moment and will be updating this post with newer startups every month (and better Guide and resources for starting up each startup).

So you might want to bookmark it. Or join this email list to Stay Updated

Ready? Let's get started.​

1. Selling on Teespring and other t-shirt sites

This platform helps you sell your t-shirt designs without you lifting a finger or stepping out of your home (okay, you might step out to cash your paycheck for sure) and it’s free.

All those lovely designs and fine quotes you create don’t have to end up in your sketchbook, they could come alive and make you good cash.

Hundreds of people like Hsu and Springer made more than $100,000 in selling tees through the company’s site; 20 collected more than $1 million

Walker Williams
CEO & CO-FOUNDER of Teespring
teespring birthday top
teespring basketball shirt

With Teespring, all you’ll have to do is:

  • Design a shirt (however you want, could be just numbers, letters, graphics or more)
  • Set a price
  • Add a goal
  • Start selling

Then what Teespring does:

  • Provide high-quality t-shirts
  • Print your design on them
  • Handle the shipping 
  • And customer service

Sounds easy right? Maybe it is if you can create t-shirts with quotes or design people would love.

 A few courses from experts:

"These two made over $100,000 selling t-shirts on Teespring"

Click to Tweet

2. Online Coaching

No doubt, MILLIONS of people out there seek to achieve certain goals but either don’t know how to go about it or needs help doing so.

“Coaching is about helping a person reach their potential or achieve a specific goal”

And there are a few (few? hundreds) of goals out there you can help people achieve and get paid.

And of course you grow to become an expert in whichever field you choose after completing several gigs and with time clients will pay you more.

If you are passionate and knowledgeable enough to help a person achieve a certain goal, then this might just be for you.

Coaching services

  • Personal or Life coach,
  • Productivity coach
  • Leadership coach
  • Business coach
  • Fitness coach
  • Blogging coach
  • Nutrition coach
  • Career coach
  • Skill coach
  • Performance coach
  • Lifestyle coach
  • Relationship coach

Download this free "7 Step Guide To Starting A Successful Online Business" Worksheet to get started

   5 Step Guide To Online Coaching Startup:

  • Choose a niche you are qualified or knowledgeable about or a niche you’re passionate about.
  • Learn and understand how it works.
  • Create a system or patterns that deliver top results
  • Join online platforms where you can deliver your content (YouTube, Wistia, Skype, Google Hangout, Goto Webinar)
  •  Reach clients or get coaching gigs on fiverr or freelancer and build up your portfolio with your gigs. (clients will pay more and trust anyone with a great portfolio and rating)

Online Courses:

3. Affiliate Marketing

 One of the top income source online earners use to make money online. Lots of top online earners build their businesses around affiliate marketing. Millions of Companies are willing to pay affiliates good amount to get more product sales and customers.

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people's (or company's) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

Pat Flynn | SmartPassiveIncome

Sometimes all you need is a great content with a good number of followers on social media or visitors on your website to make hundreds or thousands of dollars monthly in affiliate marketing.

Many companies will pay over 30% to 60% for each customer you refer through your affiliate links.

 ...that's a percentage, but the question now is how to get a good number of customers to buy.

4 simple steps to affiliating:

  • media account with a good number of following or a blog with a few thousand of monthly visits can get you there. You can build a social following around one or more similar niche and provide useful products or contents with affiliate links. 
  • Choose a niche market you would like to promote. It’s better to pick one or two products or services you can easily become an expert in by using and studying them.
  • Registering for affiliate programs. Most “affiliate program” sign up links are found at the bottom of the product's website, click on the link and apply to become affiliated with them or you could join top affiliate marketplace sites ( Commission Junction, Clickbank or ShareASale)
  • Create and publish great content (articles, photos, useful tips or how-tos) on your blog or social media about your affiliate products, using your affiliate links when referring to the product.

Top Affiliate marketing companies:

amazon associates logo
Commission junction logo
rakuten linkshare logo
Shareasale logo

Online Courses:

4. Blogging

“A Blog is a personal or corporate website that allows users to reflect, share opinions, and discuss various topics in the form of an online Journal.” - Wiki 

Blogging is no doubt the top means online marketers use to make money on the internet.

It’s like your brand headquarter online where you get creative and enlighten people and in-turn you get attention and earn good money.

How to go about starting a lucrative blog:

 I already have a well-detailed post coming up about starting a blog, so I'm just going to through the basics.

You can either hire an expert on freelancer or fiverr to set up your blog or do it yourself and learn by following these 7 simple steps: 

Step 1:  Choose a niche (the topic you want your blog to be about) you are passionate or knowledgeable about - The more specific the better.

It could be about entrepreneurship, health and fitness, fashion, ​life-hacks, traveling, a particular product and a lot more... over hundreds.

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health and fitness
  • Viral News (Gossips)
  • Relationships
  • Fashion
  • Lifehacks
  • Sports
  • Graphic Designs
  • A Product Review
  • Traveling
  • Religion
  • Hobbies and a lot more...

Step 2:  Choose a domain name for your blog - and check if it is available (not taken yet). Type in your preferred domain name into the box below to check.

Most single domain names are taken, so try using 2 - 3 word​s.

​If your domain name is available, congrats! It's rare, most people try over 50 - 100 times to get the right domain name to be available.

​Step 3:  This might be the only two main things you'll have to purchase to startup, others are pretty much free with premium options of course.

- The domain name: has to be registered to become the legit owner. When you find a good available domain name and don't register it, anyone else could register it and own it.

- The hosting service provider: host your website in servers, allowing your site to be accessible on the internet

On the internet, "domain name" is an address of a website (like the name of a person) and "the hosting" is where the website lives (like a person's body), the hosting makes it possible for your site to be accessed worldwide.

"These two top rated hosting service providers: Bluehost and iPage offers free domain registration upon sign up, so you pay for just hosting and get domain registration too.

​Step 4:  Sign into your hosting account, download and install WordPress software.  

​Step 5:  Adjust some settings - download a few plugins (Yoast SEO is okay for now) - open social media accounts for your blog - choose a free or premium theme and get started.

​Step 6:  Create quality contents and publish.

​Step 7:  Grow your blog with informative or entertaining contents and offers.

Monetize your blog:  Ways you earn money with your blog

Online Courses:

5. Freelancing

Freelancing is a very huge growing market with People all over the world who needs to get certain things done (mostly digital work) merged with people who are experts in getting those specific things done.

People love freelancing gigs because:

  • It's a market for almost anyone with any skill set.
  • You get paid upfront after work is well completed.

List of freelance gigs:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Virtual assisting
  • Creative writing
  • Translation
  • Web design
  • Word-processing 
  • Support & IT
  • Articles & Blog posts
  • Singers
  • Tutoring
  • Web search 
  • Legal/financial consulting and a lot more...

How you go about becoming a freelancer:

  •  Register in a freelancer site - input your details and select your areas of specialty (what you can do​) - your skills
  •  If you're offering your services for the first time, you can charge low for a few months to get more gigs and build up a good portfolio. And increase your charge rate later on.
  • Offer great end products to get recurring clients. Complete gigs in time and make sure you understand what the client really want.
  • Always ask clients to rate you. More gigs come with a better rating.

Top freelancing Sites:

Online Courses:

6. Creating and Selling Courses online

There are great platforms online where online teachers make over 6 figures by selling courses on anything useful - skills people would want to learn. 

On Udemy e-learning site:​

" Rob Percival’s courses have reached nearly 120,000 students and exceeded $2.8 million in total earnings.

    Victor Bastos has reached more than 52,000 Udemy students with his courses, which have earned nearly $900,000.

       Alun Hill's courses have been accessed by nearly 47,000 Udemy students and have earned about $650,000. "

- Emily Weichers | Udemy

How to go about it:

  •  Visit Udemy's Instructor page, enter the title of a course you would like to teach in the page and submit. You'll be taken to the signup page.
  •   A free course on "How to create your Udemy course" will be made available to you. You'll learn all you need to know about creating a course.
  •  You start creating a course afterward.
  • After you're done, send it for review. When it’s accepted, you may charge an amount for students that enroll for the course.
  • Then you get paid for each student that enrolls for your course. Powerful courses will great contents will attract more students and that’s more money.

Better explained (If you charge $40 and over 250 students enroll you make over $10,000 minus the platforms charges) Top courses on e-learning sites like Udemy have over 50,000 students enrolled for a course that will be towards $1 million in earnings for the instructor.

Things to teach:

  • Web designing
  • Any Language
  • Test prep
  • Personal development
  • Photography
  • Academics - Maths, Biology
  • Graphic Design
  • Coding
  • How-tos
  • Social media strategies
  • Lifestyle
  • Makeup expert

And a lot more...

Where to sell/create courses:

(These platforms make it easy for you to create any course you want and sell them)

Online Courses:

7. Selling products on Ecommerce marketplace (amazon, eBay, jumia, etsy)

 Store owners in eCommerce marketplace who sell good products make good income. The good thing about it is anyone can start selling online with little capital and grow into a big time business.

Top sellers on eBay make over $1million yearly in sales. Sellers on Amazon and other eCommerce marketplaces worldwide make money too… they are called Online merchants or retailers.

The idea: find a good product to sell online, register on any online marketplace, upload your products and make money online from sales. To make more sales you might have to promote your products.​

How to go about selling online:

  • Do a research on products you would like to sell. Make a list.
  • If you have plans to grow into a big-time online retailer, you might want to register a business name to use on your online market profiles.
  • Also, create social media profiles for your store to post photos of your products and to build up a following around your products. Very Important.*
  • Contact wholesalers of your chosen products and get a good deal (wholesale price).
  •  Create a shipping funnel. How will you ship your products? Which area will you cover? (Inter-state, nationwide, worldwide) (Some marketplaces have this in place already so find out)
  •  Upload the products on your online stores at a good price compared to similar products to build up sales and reviews.
  •  For more sales get traffic to your online store via social media ads or posting or other ways.
  •  If sales are good, see if you can make better deals with your wholesale suppliers. Add other similar products to your online stores to gradually expand your business and get you more sales and money.
  •  Hire an assistant at any point you think one is necessary. As your sales grow, hire necessary personnel or services. Leaving you with enough time to be creative and act on better ideas.

Top selling categories:

  • Books
  • Music
  • Computers
  • Clothing, shoes & accessories
  • Phones & accessories
  • Jewelry & watches
  • Auto Parts
  • Health & Beauty
  • Toys and baby wears
  • Video games
  • Sporting goods
  • Home and garden

Where to sell:

Online Courses:

8. Sell on Your Site - Build an online Store for your Business

Big and small successful companies worldwide each has an online store where they list their products or services for sale (,,

This is different from online marketplaces where anyone can list products like amazon or eBay.

Here, a business sets up its own online store site where customers come to purchase the listed products or services.

“In this internet age, before people buy anything, they tend to first search for the product online to locate an online or offline store for purchase.”

​4 Reasons why every business should have an online store:

  •  Millions of customers both local and international can locate your store.
  • For verifying brand's authenticity - When people are doubtful about a brand, they almost always check the internet for some proof. A well designed online store of the brand gives them the proof of authenticity they seek.
  •  More sales, more money for you.
  • Nothing to loose. Shopify provides an easy selling platform. No coding required. No expenses on hiring a web developer.

Top platforms where you can set up an online store in minutes:

With Shopify, your customers can buy your products directly from your Facebook and Pinterest pages via a "Buy" button which is connected to your Shopify store. 


9. Selling Stock Photos

  Are you good at taking eye-catching photos? Do you know how to edit photos to make them look great?

Then maybe it’s time you took more photos and sell them on photo marketplace online.

Of course, when you take great photos, people would buy and come back for more.

You could grow into a lucrative photo agency... just a little more focus, curiosity and creativity from you are needed.

Happy ladies
Happy child

The idea: 

  • Take a course on photography to put you on the right path
  • Get a camera. Start with anything good, don't have to wait till you can save thousands to get one. You can get a used one on eBay to start with.
  • Set up social media profiles for your photos. A photo blog will be great too.
  • Create a good portfolio with your best photo shots
  • Register in at least 2 to 4 online photo marketplaces to put up your photos for sell.
  • Start a photo blog. Put up free downloadable photos at first, then have some great premium photo options too.

Where to sell your photos online:

Courses on Photography:

Download this actionable "7 Step Guide To Starting A Successful Online Business" Worksheet to get started

10. YouTube videos

 What content can you create that would get a huge number of views on YouTube? How can you monetize your YouTube videos?

The idea here is to create an informative, or funny, or entertaining video that gets thousands or millions of views. And also get a good number viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel. 

You earn money on YouTube via ads and sponsored videos.

  •  Video ads: Most times before a YouTube video starts, a brief 4 to 30 secs video comes up automatically with a “skip ad” button. More views, more money.
  •  Link ads: a link at the bottom while viewing a video. More clicks, more money.
  • Sponsored Videos: with a lot of subscribers and video views, brands or advertisers will pay to have you use their product in your videos.

Huge followers and subscribers on Social media grow with the quality of your content. How funny? How entertaining? How informative?

Is everyone good at making viral videos? ah no... I've tried several times and failed.

The good thing is your videos don't have to be super funny or eye catching before you make money on YouTube...

See also  How To Step Up Your Money Game

Simple informative videos like: "The unpacking of an iPhone 7" or "How to fix a baby's trolley" can get thousands of views.

Viral videos or any sort of content can be made for you at fiverr for a few dollars.

Online video editors:

Online YouTube Courses:

11. Instagram Promotions

Instagram is becoming one of the fastest growing Social Media Platform with over 400 million visits monthly and over 100 million new subscribers in 2016.

 Big and upcoming brands seek to explore this opportunity by promoting their products and getting more sales.

Driving into 2017, another dream year ahead #DontCrackUnderPressure #tagheuer

A photo posted by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

Enjoy ???

A photo posted by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

 The famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo advertises tag Heuer wristwatch on the left photo and his CR7 footwear on the right.

So, as an Instagram subscribers with a good number of following or still growing, you can make good money in a few ways:

  • Becoming a brand's ambassador: With over 5k or 10k followers you can join these platforms to get connected with brands:

You can reach out to good brands which products you use and love and offer to become their brand ambassador or they might come to you.

  • Promoting and selling your products
  • Creating and selling Instagram accounts with a good number of followers. 

You could create social media profiles FB or IG build up thousands of followers around a niche and sell it for thousands of dollars on sites like:

  • Affiliate Marketing: Register as an affiliate with any brand you would like to promote via CJ affiliates, ShareASale, Clickbank or the brand’s affiliate programs, get your affiliate links, post a photo relating to it your affiliate products and refer your viewers to the affiliate link on your bio.
  • Shoutouts: Promote other Instagram accounts on your IG page and get paid.

Online Courses:

12. Writing

 Writing could be a source of good income for you.

If you’re good at putting the right words together in any language, you could offer services to thousands of people who needs different writing jobs done and make money online while doing so.

 Writing gigs pay ranges from $2 to over $2,000 per gig​, depending on the nature & size of the writing job and also your level of expertise.

Different writing jobs:

  • Content writing
  • Report writing
  • Resume
  • Book writing
  • Research and summaries
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Creative writing
  • Articles and blog posts
  • Business Copywriting
  • Legal writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Scriptwriting

Platforms to get writing jobs

Courses on article or professional writing:

13. Website testing –

  Usertesting platform pays you $10 for each set of website or mobile testing task (20mins max) you complete. On your first time registration, you’ll be given a brief sample test after which you’ll be approved.

The task is simple, all you have to do is:

    • Visit a website with your PC or a mobile app with your Phone
    • Complete a few easy tasks
    • Speak out loud what you think about the features of the site
    • Once you’re done, you get paid.

14. Create and Sell EBooks

 Creating an eBook is about putting together powerful or entertaining content in an eBook format. Either a story, motivational, informative or how to eBook.

 Publishers make thousands of dollar on Amazon selling eBooks.

 Over 5,000 - 10,000 words are okay for a start, you don't have to write over 50,000 words if you can deliver your points with fewer words. 

ebooks on Amazon

 So, if you’re a good writer, story teller or designer with a good content, create simple eBooks and sell them online.

Where to sell:

Online courses (to show you how to go about it):


15. Language Translation

With over 6,500 languages worldwide, millions of people need to communicate with each other and most times the only way to do that is to learn the language (which can take months or years) or to hire an interpreter

 Anyone who is fluent in two or more languages can make money online by sparing few hours weekly in translating one language to another.

different languages

Photo credit Karen Roe via

Where you can find translation gigs:

Online Course:

16. Foap

Foap “turns your real photos into real money”.

You download the foam mobile app (android or iOS) on your smartphone, take cool photos and upload them on foap mobile app, get paid $5 for each of your photo you sell. You can sell the same photo an unlimited number of times.

Watch the video to learn more.​

17. Creating an app/software

Good mobile apps builders are good earners.

App builders earn money in several ways:

  • Building apps for companies and individuals and getting paid hundreds to thousands of dollars
  • Building great apps and selling them on google play or Apple App Store
  • Creating free mobile apps and earning by adding ads (the reason why most great free mobile apps have ads and paid mobile apps have none)

Great ideas are priceless:

*You could just have a great idea of a mobile app that will help people achieve some goal or entertain and hire someone to build it for you... then make money online by putting up ads or a price tag*


18. Graphic Designing

“Graphic Design is the new Buzz”

Online and offline, graphic designers make big bucks. Still plan on learning graphic designing though, love the creativity and buzz it comes with.

Big companies can’t do without it while small businesses and individuals are now catching the feel.

Graphic Designers and writers get the most gigs on freelancer sites hands down... they make money online from little logo, business card, fashion designing to 3D, 4D, video editing, animation. Make your pick.

Graphic Design gigs:

  • Banner design
  • Icon design
  • Visual arts
  • Photo editing 
  • 3D
  • T-shirt designs and more...



19. Teaching a language

Earn money teaching your language online, anytime​ you want, part-time or full-time. And set your own hourly rates.

Language market is a huge one, with millions of people having to learn other languages for job requirements, relocation, communication reasons or just for knowledge.

Almost everyone wants to learn a new language (maybe English, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Hindi, Japanese or others) along the long haul.

And teaching any language, mostly the popularly spoken ones is definitely a lucrative income source. The best of it is that you can do it at anytime you choose - freelancing.

 Sites for Language gigs:

20. Creating and Selling website themes or plugins

With over 60 million users, WordPress is the most used open source software for building blogs, websites or apps worldwide. Each user makes use of at least 15 plugins and purchases a theme or more.

So, creating good WordPress plugin or theme and putting it in the marketplaces for a price or for free (with a fee for premium) is a huge source of income.

Of course, you would have to create something special to get thousands or millions of sales, but that comes with time and brilliant marketing efforts. The key is to get started.

Plugins in a WordPress software are like mobile apps in a smartphone, there do specific tasks

Here are a few top sellers on Envato marketplace (themes, plugins, graphics and a lot more):

Plugin types:

  • Security
  • Share buttons
  • Comment plugins
  • Contact form plugins
  • Traffic stat
  • Social media widgets plugins
  • Ads plugins
  • Image gallery plugins and a lot more...

Top places to sell themes & plugins:


21. Taking Survey and Reviews

The good old online income source: Taking Surveys. This actually is one really easy way to make a few side cash without having to learn anything, but as I said “a few side cash”.

Companies pay top dollar for users' opinion, while survey sites connect users to companies' surveys and pay them... just by completing a simple and direct task or answering a few questions.

Where to take surveys:

Over to you

 If you're reading this, you're a lot closer to making money online. But there are a few things you might want to do...

​Pick one or more you will enjoy doing, if you aren’t a pro, take a course, learn the basics and practice

​Make out few hours weekly to do a few gigs or post on your blog or promote your affiliates or create a course or take great stock photos or any other thing!!

Earning side money from your hobby or what you're passionate about is the idea here. It would grow to become a full time earner for you... of course with a well aimed effort.

Don't give up, if things didn't go right at first, tweak a little and keep going.​ 

Don't forget, more ideas are welcomed! Which one is working for you that isn't listed here?

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that could bring in commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend excellent tools that would be of good value to you

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