x

17 Ways to Make Money Online in 2021

(Ranked for Speed and Profit!)

So You Want to Make Money Online? 

If you’re looking to make money online, there are a LOT of different ideas on how that’s done. 

Believe me… I checked!

While doing the research for this epic guide, I scoured more than two dozen of the top posts to see what other people had to say about how to make money online. And the fact is, there’s probably TOO many ways. 

That’s why we collected our own data and devised a ranking system to help you make an informed decision!



 

Statistics for Making Money Online

Here at ClickBank, we analyzed more than 3.5 million internal data points collected within our very own affiliate marketplace.

The verdict? Today’s ecommerce landscape is growing by leaps and bounds! 

Here are just a few of the biggest takeaways from our data:

  1. The number of people earning over $1,000 online increased 42.2% from 2019 to 2020.
  2. The amount of time it took people to start making money on the ClickBank marketplace shrank to 78 days.
  3. Weight loss and health supplements products surged 573.4% in popularity throughout 2020 – and they’re still going strong.

Physical products were also a huge ecommerce winner during 2020 (increasing 185% compared to sales in 2019), as more people turned to the internet to buy the tangible products they used to buy in their local stores.

Now, in an increasingly post-COVID world, you may be wondering if everyone will go back to their pre-COVID shopping and selling habits. 

Well… given the titanic shift towards ecommerce and the widespread adoption of fully remote or hybrid schedules for workers across industries, it’s safe to say that people are more comfortable doing business online.

In other words, there’s never been a better time to make money online! Let’s find out how it’s done.

 

17 Ideas to Earn Money Online

For each online business idea, we included an overall score based on the following factors from 1 to 5 (with 1 being worst and 5 being best):

  • Setup time/speed. How much time will it take to make money with this business? (Think of a 1 as several years and a 5 as within days of getting started.)
  • Required investment. How much money will it take to get the business off the ground? (Think of a 1 as thousands of your own dollars and a 5 as virtually free.)
  • Experience level. How much experience will you need to build the business? (Think of a 1 as decades of experience and a 5 as no prior experience needed.)
  • Potential Profit. How much income can you expect from the business? (Think of a 1 as a small side income of a few thousand dollars and a 5 as a six-figure business.)

We’ll rate each business idea for these factors and give all of them a weighted score. Remember, a higher overall score is better!

Ready? Here are ClickBank’s 17 ideas on how to make money online!

 

1. Start Affiliate Marketing

We’re starting off this list with something that’s near and dear to our hearts here at ClickBank: affiliate marketing. 

If you’re new to the concept of affiliate marketing, this business approach is all about promoting someone else’s products online and getting paid a commission (up to 75%!) on each sale you bring them.

Affiliate marketing is a great opportunity because you don’t need a huge staff, a bunch of capital, or even an idea for a product! All you need is a special affiliate link and the ability to send qualified traffic to an online offer – from there, you get a percentage of the sale and can go on your merry way.

Obviously, affiliate marketing is more involved than just that – there’s different commission models like CPA vs Revshare, one-time or recurring commissions, joint venture partnerships, and key metrics to track like average order value (AOV) and earnings per click (EPC).

But we’ve put affiliate marketing at #1 because it’s truly one of the fastest ways to get started making real money online! It’s also uniquely suited as a way to monetize roughly half of the other ideas on this list – yep, affiliate marketing is that important.

How fast is affiliate marketing? What if we said you could get your first sale in 7 days? Check out the Spark “7 Day Challenge” that walks you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a sale in just one week!

Here are some incredible stats we’ve collected in the past year about this long-standing money-making opportunity:

  • Overall 2020 affiliate earnings in the United States increased by 67% over 2019.
  • In 2020, there was a 66.4% increase in brand-new earners (affiliates who never earned an affiliate paycheck before).
  • The overall average order value (AOV) for affiliate purchases was $179.66, and the top 10% of earners saw an AOV of $406.52. (The AOV is what your commission comes out of, so if you get a 70% commission on an order of $200, that’s $140 in your pocket!)

These are encouraging numbers, especially because almost ALL of the ways you can start making money online come back to affiliate marketing – it’s woven throughout these business ideas.

 

Affiliate Marketing Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 3
  • Required investment: 4
  • Experience level: 3
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 4

 

How to Get Started: Affiliate marketing is an amazing and beginner-friendly opportunity to make money online. For example, here on ClickBank, you can sign up and have your first affiliate link ready to share online in just 15 minutes!

But countless businesses offer their own affiliate programs that you can apply to directly. Just look for “Affiliates” or “Affiliate Program” in their site footer. There are also a ton of other affiliate networks and marketplaces you can consider, such as Amazon Associates, Rakuten Marketing, and ShareASale.

 

2. Sell Physical Stuff Online

After affiliate marketing, the next fastest way to make money online is by selling physical items. There are two ways to sell physical stuff online – I call them the casual approach and the hardcore approach.

With a casual approach, you’re just looking for old stuff you already own around the house and selling it on a marketplace like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Etsy, or eBay.

For a more hardcore approach, consider retail arbitrage – this is a fancy phrase that means capturing the difference between what things sell for in one place versus another. Your goal? Buy low, sell high!

For example, you find a nice suit on clearance at the local department store for $100, then turn around and sell it on eBay the next day for $250. It’s a risky practice unless you know what you’re doing, but it’s a great way to make good money fast.

You don’t even have to leave your house to do it, either. Just get good at finding a place online that’s selling something for cheap, buy it there, and then go sell it somewhere else online for a profit! 

For even greater success with arbitrage, use your knowledge of market trends and cycles to stock up on things that will become scarce later, driving up demand with low supply.

Sell Physical Stuff Online Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 5
  • Required investment: 4
  • Experience level: 2
  • Potential Profit: 3

SCORE: 3.5

 

How to Get Started: Pick what you want to do and start slow. I recommend using a platform you’re familiar with when you’re starting out, especially eBay or Amazon. 

If you really want to get into selling physical stuff with arbitrage, a product research tool like Jungle Scout for Amazon can give you behind-the-scenes data to make more educated selling decisions.

 

3. Sell Your Photography or Art

Do you love the arts? Do you love money

Well, it’s possible to combine your two passions by selling your artistic work online – including photos and art!

sell art and photography online

There are a few directions you can take this:

 

A) Sell directly to interested buyers.

This is what most people think of when they imagine becoming an artist and selling their work. To reach buyers online as an artist, you’ll need some kind of storefront. The most common ways to do this are through a Shopify store, a third-party marketplace like Etsy, or your own website.

Having a store is the best way to retain control over your work and your prices, reach your audience, and build a brand.

B) Sell to stock photo websites.

You can also sell your work to stock photo websites like Getty Images, Alamy, Adobe Stock, and Shutterstock. For compensation, you’ll either get an upfront payment, a percentage of direct sales/licensing fees, or both. 

NOTE: If you submit work exclusively on one platform, you’ll usually get better rates. 

Lastly, consider posting your work on sites like Pexels and Unsplash. You don’t get paid as a contributor on these sites, but you’ll often get attribution as a way to generate more traffic for your paid licenses – or even lead to work as an artist or photographer. 

Sell Photography or Art Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 2
  • Required investment: 4
  • Experience level: 2
  • Potential Profit: 3

SCORE: 2.25

 

How to Get Started: I recommend going down one path first and focusing on it for a while, either selling your work on your own or through a stock photo site. If you’re new to art or photography, don’t forget to keep working on your craft – as you improve, you’ll naturally be able to sell more of your work. Later, you can expand into both methods to help improve your exposure and sales.

 

4. Become a Freelancer

What do writers, editors, coders, marketers, photographers, and designers have in common? The ability to get clients and work for themselves as freelancers, of course! 

The coolest thing about freelancing is the flexibility. You can do as much or as little as you choose, set your own pricing, and control which clients and projects you take on.

become a freelancer

In addition, there’s a lower barrier to entry with freelancing compared to traditional jobs, so you don’t necessarily need the most advanced skill set if you just want to make some extra money. For example, a sales professional by day could still make money moonlighting as a real estate photographer on the side – and a professional copywriter could make money building WordPress websites.

If you have an in-demand skill that people will pay for, freelancing is one of the fastest and most profitable ways to make money online. 

Of course, to build a sustainable freelance business, it helps to connect with companies directly. I highly recommend LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even Reddit to find clients. You may also find success with job boards, online forums, and social media groups related to your niche or skill.

I ran my own successful freelance content marketing business for years, so my best advice is to focus on a handful of specialties that you can become an expert in (mine were affiliate marketing, B2B, and biotechnology). Once I got enough clients, my business grew consistently from referrals with virtually no marketing required. 

While it’s important to keep prospecting for new clients, your number one priority is to deliver great work for your current clients – and of course, never miss a deadline!

Freelancing Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 4
  • Required investment: 4
  • Experience level: 2
  • Potential Profit: 4

SCORE: 3.5

 

How to Get Started: If you’re brand-new to freelancing, I’d start by asking around your professional network. Next, try offering your services on a freelance platform like Upwork or Fiverr to get some experience and examples under your belt. It’s also worth staying active on social sites like Reddit, Facebook, Quora, and Twitter to network. Lots of people find great clients this way!

 

5. Rent Your Stuff Out Online

There are plenty of successful businesses that rent cool things out to people (sorry, Blockbuster!).

Source: Collider

Do you have amazing stuff that other people would borrow for a fee? Thanks to the internet, if you want to manage a (mostly) online rental business, there are more opportunities than ever!

Here are a few of the best ones!

For Real Estate

  • Airbnb. The holy grail of short-term home or room rentals, hosts make an average of $924 per month on Airbnb
  • VRBO. Got a vacation home just sitting there unused? Yeah, me neither… But if you did, this site would be a great way to make some money off it. VRBO is a short-term rental for large spaces like entire houses, condos, and apartments.

 

For Transportation

  • Turo. Turo can make you some serious car sharing money if you have an in-demand car like a Tesla, Lamborghini, Cadillac, or BMW that you’re willing to let other people drive. According to Turo, the average car earns more than $10,500 per year! 
  • RVShare. Recreational vehicles (RVs) are a lot of fun, but they’re also incredibly expensive. Why let your investment just sit there in between adventures? RVShare and similar sites will allow you to rent out your RV for $2000 per month or more!

 

For Miscellaneous Stuff 

  • Style Lend. Are you a part-time fashionista? Don’t let those beautiful shoes and dresses collect dust when they could be collecting cash! Style Lend allows you to rent out your fancy clothes for hundreds of dollars per week.
  • RentNotBuy. RentNotBuy is a platform that doesn’t charge any fees, so you can rent out any valuables you own and start making money. Just be aware that there’s no identity verification, payment processing, or insurance through RentNotBuy.

 

Online Rental Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 4
  • Required investment: 2
  • Experience level: 3
  • Potential Profit: 3

SCORE: 3

 

How to Get Started: Take a look at what you already have that you can rent out and pick something you’re comfortable with. As handy as it is to make money from things you already own, you should remember that this is a business – expect to pay for maintenance when other people are using your stuff!

 

6. Tutor Students Online

Do you have a knack for helping others learn? There are tons of opportunities online for tutoring students.

Everybody has at least one good subject in school, right? It was English for me – maybe you had a knack for music or chemistry or calculus!

Well, there’s good news: parents will pay good money to help their kids do better in school – especially when it comes to test prep for the ACT or SAT. Quality tutor roles can start at $30-50 an hour, with some tutors charging as much as $150 an hour. (Who says you can’t get rich as a teacher?)

To be an effective academic tutor, you should find your own area of specialization, defined by grade level and subject. You could get even more specific, focusing either on helping with homework or preparing for exams. 

Of course, beyond K-12 and college test prep, there are a range of other subjects and job skills that teens and adults need to be tutored in – some popular options include music lessons, foreign languages/ESL, and coding.

Lastly, keep in mind that “in person” rates tend to be higher, but online allows you to connect with more students than you could in your local area. It’s helpful to find a balance between in person and remote tutoring to maximize your income.

Online Tutor Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 5
  • Required investment: 5
  • Experience level: 2
  • Potential Profit: 3

SCORE: 3.75

 

How to Get Started: If you’re serious about tutoring, check out the National Tutoring Association for a tutoring certification. Aside from LinkedIn or your own network, try visiting tutor job boards sites and marketplaces like Tutor.com, Skooli, and Chegg Tutors to connect with students looking for a tutor like you!

 

7. Become a Consultant

If you’ve built up years of experience in your field, you may be surprised just how much your knowledge is worth in the marketplace! 

Imagine making money just by telling businesses how to solve a problem. That’s consulting! Even better, because you’re only selling your ideas, your overhead is really low – and almost any industry or job function has consultants, from accounting and marketing to career counseling and human resources.

Consultants are generally hired for a few reasons:

  1. To answer questions or brainstorm solutions to problems.
  2. To serve as an objective sounding board. 
  3. To teach others how to do something.
  4. To implement solutions.

Some professions may require licensing or certifications to be a consultant, but in most cases, the only requirement is your qualifications. If you can find businesses who value your expertise enough to pay you for it, then you’re in business!

According to a small business insurer that works with consultants, the top 3 most in-demand consulting services for businesses right now are IT, marketing, and financial consulting! But whatever your field is, it’s likely someone wants to know what you already have in your head.

Consultant Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 2
  • Required investment: 5
  • Experience level: 1
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 3.25

 

How to Get Started: To become a consultant, think about your skillset and what you’re good at. What jobs have you excelled at in the past? Is there an area that friends and acquaintances have always come to you for help with? With an idea in mind, start asking around your network or start prospecting on LinkedIn – and be sure to set up a website to cultivate your personal brand. Just remember that most consultants are supporting business clients, not doing the work for them. 

 

8. Invest Your Money

One of the most reliable ways to make money is through investing.

I know everyone talks about investing like it’s hard, but you can always just put your money in Gamestop and Dogecoin… right?

dogecoin investing
Wow…

Probably not! 

If you’re an investor and not a speculator, you’ll want to be careful where you put your life savings. Here are a few places you can invest your money online (plus the average yearly returns from 1998-2018):

  • High-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) – average yearly return of ~1-2%
  • Stocks, mutual funds, and ETF’s – average yearly return of 5.6% from S&P 500
  • Bonds or Treasury bills – average yearly return of 4.5% from bonds
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs) – average yearly return of 9.9%
  • Commodities and cryptocurrencies – average yearly return of 7.7% from gold

Without getting too in-depth about investing or portfolio theory, if you want to be a successful investor, it’s important to construct a balanced portfolio. 

For example, put some money into:

  1. Ultra-safe cash positions like savings accounts, Treasuries, and money market funds.
  2. Higher-yield assets like corporate bonds or dividend-paying stocks.
  3. Higher-risk, higher-reward growth stocks, funds, or currencies that offer greater potential appreciation.
  4. Hedges that help protect against inflation, including gold or REITs.

No matter how you make a living, investing online is a GREAT way to grow your income and wealth over the long term!

 

Investor Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 2
  • Required investment: 1
  • Experience level: 2
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 2.5

 

How to Get Started: Investing is not for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely worth learning. If you want to use traditional brokerages, you’ll be in good hands with Fidelity or TD Ameritrade. For investing in crypto, look at Coinbase. If you want some affordable investing help, consider robo-advisers like Betterment, Acorn, or Robinhood. 

Ultimately, nothing beats doing it for yourself – take a small amount of cash and invest in stocks you pick to learn what actually makes you money over time!

 

9. Start a Podcast

I know, everyone and their dog has a podcast… (Wait, are “dogcasts” a thing? Dibs!)

But no matter how niche your topic is, someone wants to learn from you or be entertained by you. The internet has brought the “long tail” to the fore – suddenly, even that small population of underwater basket weaving enthusiasts scattered across the world can become a community online.

If you understand the power of search engine optimization, then you’ll realize that every episode of your podcast is an opportunity for people to find your brand. 

In fact, here at ClickBank, we’ve seen huge growth thanks to the ClickBank Affiliated podcast, which targets product sellers and publishers in the affiliate marketing space. We produce content that helps these specific audiences grow their businesses – it’s a fairly niche topic, but it’s the perfect fit for the people who follow us!

One great feature of podcasts is that they’re audio-based, so even busy people can fit it in while commuting, working out, cooking, or before going to bed. Podcasts are also virtually free for you to start: just have a computer, an internet connection, recording software (Audacity is free!), a pop filter, and a microphone (USB for beginners or XLR for pros).

Most importantly, podcasts can be monetized through affiliate marketing and sponsorships (basically, two sides of the same coin – either you’re paid on commission, paid with a sponsorship fee upfront, or receive a combination of the two). Plus, if you have a big enough podcast audience, you can even leverage it into sales of your own products!

Podcast Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 5
  • Required investment: 4
  • Experience level: 2
  • Potential Profit: 3

SCORE: 3.5

 

How to Get Started: To actually host the physical podcast files and syndicate them across different podcast platforms – like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher – you should look at a host like Buzzsprout. If you want to grow your podcast, it’s helpful to have your own site where you list episodes with show notes. 

When you’re ready to make money, affiliate marketing is easily the best way to monetize your podcast, so don’t forget to check out available offers on ClickBank to promote!

 

10. Buy and Sell Websites

What better way to make money online than to dabble in the very building blocks of the web: websites?

Websites are big business, with virtual real estate having similar value as a physical storefront. Like back in the California gold rush, many of the most prized plots of virtual land are already claimed – but there’s still gold in them hills! 

buying and selling websites

To be clear, you should get really comfortable with web metrics, search engine optimization, and site monetization (affiliate marketing, display ads, sponsors) before you start buying sites left and right. Just like with real estate “in real life,” you want to have a good baseline knowledge of how to value a website to make sure you’re getting a good deal (as a buyer and as a seller).

But if you get good at it, you’ll be able to spot a website that you can fix up by adding better content, improving the monetization, and sprucing up the technicals. Voila! The same site you just bought can be sold for more money in just a handful of months, or you can keep it as a passive revenue stream.

 

Buying and Selling Websites Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 3
  • Required investment: 1
  • Experience level: 1
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 2.5

 

How to Get Started: Get familiar with big marketplaces like Flippa, FE International, or Empire Flippers that list blogs and websites for sale, or a smaller marketplace like Motion Invest for niche sites. Most of these marketplaces feature not just websites, but apps and online businesses as well, so you have plenty of opportunities to find an online moneymaker to flip or keep.

 

11. Generate Leads

If you’ve been a business owner or salesperson, then you know how valuable leads are, especially in highly niche businesses. This is why it’s so profitable to make an entire business out of generating leads and selling them to companies that want them! 

First, get to know an industry that always needs good leads, whether it’s a marketing agency looking for SMBs, wealthy investors looking for properties, or a financial advisor looking for high net worth individuals. You can either be paid for the lead itself – cost per lead (CPL) – or get paid a commission for leads that close into customers – cost per sale (CPS).

This process is similar to affiliate marketing, but instead of helping bring new customers to buy products, you’re bringing prospects to companies with high-ticket items or custom services to sell. 

To generate leads, you can build a dedicated website around a particular industry, run paid advertising, or both! For example, if a vocational school wanted to enroll more students, and you ran a website about vocational programs, the school would happily pay you for the leads you deliver – and the more qualified your leads were, the better you’d get paid. 

Depending on your industry, it’s common to get up to $50 per lead or more – so it can add up fast!

Lead Generation Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 2
  • Required investment: 2
  • Experience level: 1
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 2.5

 

How to Get Started: Even if you’re comfortable with SEO, you should recognize that the lead generation business is typically a local business model. A dry cleaning business in Toledo has no interest in paying for leads from Topeka. 

But if you can use marketing channels like SEO, digital ads, and social media to find qualified leads in your chosen industry, you can make incredible profits!

 

12. Sell eBooks or Online Courses

Do you have knowledge that you can share? Want to go beyond consulting or tutoring? 

Then why not package what you know into an ebook or online course? No need to be a world-class college professor or award-winning published author – just provide quality information that people want in an accessible format.

Because information online is so narrowly tailored to a specific audience, you can charge a lot more than you think. I worked closely with one internet entrepreneur in the online marketing space who made six figures in one day from his online course!

But we can take it a step further. Once you create a winning book or course, you can recruit affiliates to promote it for you! This is the flip side of affiliate marketing – instead of finding someone else’s products to promote yourself, you let affiliates sell YOUR product. 

ClickBank has hundreds of information products listed on our marketplace – will your ebook or course be next? 

eBook or Online Course Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 1
  • Required investment: 3
  • Experience level: 2
  • Potential Profit: 4

SCORE: 2.5

 

How to Get Started: First, decide which format is ideal for what you want to sell. Generally, ebooks can be sold on Amazon Kindle Publishing, while courses can usually be listed on sites like Udemy or Skillshare. 

Down the road, once you’ve proven the demand for your product, you can even list it on a marketplace like ClickBank and scale your sales with affiliates!

 

13. Grow a YouTube Channel

Growing a YouTube channel is easily a full-time endeavor, so don’t expect to make it big overnight. 

However, if you want high potential profits, some of the biggest YouTubers see hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars just from YouTube ad revenue – with plenty more profits coming from sponsorships, licensing deals, merchandise sales, paid subscribers, and sales of their own products.

ClickBank YouTube Channel

In fact, some of ClickBank’s biggest customers are YouTube experts Mark Borland and Derek Lau. These entrepreneurs have leveraged 3 YouTube channels to grow their information products business to new heights online.

Their advice? Make your videos as long as possible without including any fluff! Use faces in your video thumbnails. And of course, if you only have limited funds, spend that money on a good microphone – audio quality is more important than you think.

YouTube is great because people can find your video through search (both within YouTube and on Google!) – but your videos are also visible through the “related videos” feature in the sidebar, and of course, from notifications sent to your channel subscribers. With monetization options from affiliate marketing to ad revenue, YouTube alone can support a thriving online business!

YouTube Channel Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 4
  • Required investment: 3
  • Experience level: 4
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 4

 

How to Get Started: For a professional video setup, all you need is a decent light or two, a quality microphone, a standard DSLR camera, and an optional teleprompter. Once you have the right equipment, it’s time to focus on creating quality content and optimizing it for SEO on YouTube. 

To keep track of your metrics and do competitor analysis, both vidIQ and TubeBuddy are great tools, along with standard SEO tools like Ahrefs.

 

14. Start a Blog

Apparently, blogging has been around since 1994 or 1997 (depending on who you ask), but the amazing part is how much it’s grown in just a few decades!

These days, the blog has matured from a place for people to jot down personal thoughts into a true online money-making juggernaut.

ClickBank blog
ClickBank blog

Of course, there are some simple rules to follow if you want to succeed with a blog online.

A) Pick a niche.

You can’t talk to everyone at once, so find a niche or topic that’s profitable, and that you ideally have some knowledge or experience with. The categories that will always make money are health and fitness, business, and dating/relationships – but you can also find success in a narrower niche, such as a hobby or location.

For example, I started my own niche website called Improve Songwriting about my songwriting and music making hobby. 

If you start a blog about a passion, it has two big benefits:

  1. You probably have something worthwhile to add to the conversation.
  2. You’re more likely to stick with it. 

Over my many years in the affiliate marketing space, I’ve seen people create cool sites around almost every topic you can think of, such as:

  • Soundproofing a home studio
  • Organic pet food
  • Camping gear
  • Playing guitar
  • Collectible coins
  • Makeup

I would definitely do research on competitors before starting your blog, but don’t be afraid to try something unconventional!

B) Create content regularly. 

Like many things in business, blogging is a numbers game. If you create more content, there’s more opportunities for your website to be found in the search results, which means more potential readers and customers! 

Do your keyword research (in a tool like Ahrefs) and look for low competition, high volume search terms you can dominate in Google. When it comes to content creation, it’s important to strike a balance between quality and quantity.

C) Monetize your site.

Once you get some decent traffic, you’re ready to monetize your site. Again, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to do this – just grab a HopLink from ClickBank to get started! 

If you want to diversify your monetization beyond affiliate marketing alone, you can place ads on your site through a platform like Google AdSense, find sponsors, or even start selling your own products! Just remember that blogging is a long game, so you have to stick with it to see those massive profits.

Blog Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 1
  • Required investment: 3
  • Experience level: 3
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 3

 

How to Get Started: These days, there are content management systems (CMS’s) that do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. For a professional blog, if coding isn’t your thing, I would build an affiliate website on WordPress with a lightweight theme like GeneratePress and the Elementor page builder, which are both free or inexpensive. Wix or Weebly are also decent CMS alternatives for building your own blog. 

Then, just create regular blog content centered around relevant keywords found in Google. Once you have consistent traffic, it’s simple to start making money with affiliate marketing and display ads.

 

15. Become a Social Media Influencer

Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to make money off of your passions. Most successful influencers focus on just one niche, at least at first. This could be lifestyle, fitness, parenting, comedy, dating, music, gaming, entertainment, or a cool hobby – whatever you enjoy and can monetize.

As an influencer, you’ll be building an audience on a platform like Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, or TikTok. The ideal platform depends on your niche, so you’ll want to identify where your target audience hangs out the most online.

As far as monetization, you have several great options:

  • Affiliate marketing 
  • Patreon or subscription membership 
  • Donations from fans
  • Sponsorships
  • Selling your own products or services

The reason why this “social media influencer” is so far down on this list is because it can be slow to start making money, unless you’re already famous – but the monetization potential is through the roof! 

When it comes to influencer marketing pricing, social influencers with more than 100K followers can charge as much as $2500 per post, while those with 1M followers can charge $25,000! 

Social Media Influencer Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 4
  • Required investment: 4
  • Experience level: 3
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 4

 

How to Get Started: My best advice is to get really familiar with your audience. The bread-and-butter of a social media influencer is understanding what their fans and followers like, because this ensures high engagement and improves the likelihood that they’ll buy what the influencer recommends (yep, affiliate marketing again!). 

Tools like BuzzSumo can help you uncover social trends to capitalize on, while a tool like Sprout Social or Hootsuite can help streamline your publishing across multiple social platforms.  

 

16. Build a Membership Site

In case you haven’t noticed a theme here yet, many of the best ways to make money online (and in general) involve building an audience or community first, and then selling to them second.

You can do it with a blog, YouTube channel, podcast, or social media profile – but you can also do it with a membership site, typically on a monthly or annual subscription model. The idea behind a membership site is providing quality content behind a paywall to create recurring revenue.

One great example that you’ve probably encountered before is Masterclass. This is a site where the most famous celebrities teach their craft, from Usher to Ron Howard to Gordon Ramsey. As a Masterclass customer, you get access to the Masterclass site and classes for an annual payment of $180.

Masterclass membership site subscription
Source: Masterclass

The membership site model goes hand in hand with the concept of a mastermind group, where you bring a group of people together for regular calls or discussions. The key is to foster a community around your topic and provide value through courses, guides, videos, or other useful information.

Here at ClickBank, we’ve launched a paid membership site called Spark that teaches affiliate marketing and entrepreneurship to people who want to make money online. (Find out more about Spark here.) 

One key lesson we’ve learned from our membership site is to offer a free trial upfront so people have a chance to discover what’s inside – this helps encourage people who were on the fence to keep paying and access more information over time. If you want to create your own membership site, it’s often helpful to build it off a blog or YouTube channel audience first, so you know what your audience likes – and more importantly, what kind of information they would pay for!

Membership Site Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 2
  • Required investment: 2
  • Experience level: 1
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 2.5

 

How to Get Started: It’s difficult to start a membership site without an existing audience somewhere. If you’re just starting your online business journey, pick a marketing channel and grow your community there first. Then, you can use a plugin like Thrive Themes or Thinkific to build your own membership site.

 

17. Launch an Ecommerce Brand

Selling your own products online is NOT fast or easy, no matter what you might hear from the “gurus.” A successful ecommerce brand could easily take years of work to build and scale, but it’s ALSO one of the most profitable businesses out there.

Think of the benefits:

  • Your online storefront can generate sales 24/7/365 from anywhere in the world.
  • You have total control over where and how your product is sold.
  • For digital products, each new sale is almost pure profit.
  • Once you have a proven successful product, ecommerce is a lot easier to scale than other businesses.

Of course, ecommerce brings its own challenges, from inventory management to customer service to fulfillment. If you sell physical products, you may benefit from a partnership like Ship Offers, which provides on-demand fulfillment for a leaner operation.  

While you can sell products on your own site or a Shopify store, it’s also worth looking into marketplaces like ClickBank that connect you to affiliates that want to sell your product in exchange for a commission. The potential for scaling is much greater when you have an army of affiliates out helping to get your offer in front of buyers! 

Ecommerce Brand Score:

  • Setup time/speed: 1
  • Required investment: 3
  • Experience level: 3
  • Potential Profit: 5

SCORE: 3

 

How to Get Started: Launching a product is more than just putting an item up on your store. It requires market research, marketing, testing, and iterating. 

That’s why many people start out as affiliates for other brands so they can get familiar with a certain industry, and then they’ll start selling products on their own store, on third-party sites like Amazon, and on affiliate marketplaces like ClickBank. Why not list your product in different places on the web to maximize your reach?

 

3 Quick Tips for Success Online

Whew, that was a LOT! 

If your head’s spinning with all these different business ideas, here’s how we recommend picking which route to go.

 

1) Pick one idea and give it six months.

Nobody becomes an expert at anything overnight. That’s why you need to give your chosen business time to grow before you move on to the next shiny object. I know it’s tempting to think the grass is always greener elsewhere, but think of a business like compound interest – it grows exponentially. 

Starting over on a new idea just resets the clock, so don’t be too hasty to make a change!

 

2) Never stop learning.

Some people love the fast pace of making money online, but whether you like it or not, it’s the reality. That means you can never stop learning. Trust me, what worked yesterday doesn’t work today, and we can’t even dream up what will work tomorrow yet!

Get educated by taking courses, reading books, watching YouTube videos, following blogs like this one, and keeping an open mind on where trends are heading.

 

3) Combine complementary strategies as you go.

One of the most exciting things about growing an online business is how complementary these different strategies actually are. Here at ClickBank, many of our successful vendors selling their own products originally started out as affiliates selling other people’s products until they got to know the industry!

Outside of affiliate marketing, think about business models that go together: A freelance writer can also sell a book about how to write, and a personal finance blogger can also have a YouTube channel. And everyone is on social media these days…

Once you’ve mastered one domain, it’s absolutely worth experimenting with new channels and tactics!

 

5 Best Money-Making Niches (According to ClickBank)

Of course, nothing happens until you decide on an industry to build your business around.

Having trouble picking a niche? Here are the top 5 money making niches we’re seeing on ClickBank right now (updated yearly):

  1. Dietary Supplements
  2. E-Commerce Operations
  3. Remedies
  4. Women’s Health
  5. Exercise

These niches are popular now, but trends can change. My best advice is to find a niche you’d be happy with for a long time.

 

Make Money Online – FAQs

Can I make $100 a day online?

Yes, of course you can! That equates to approximately $36,500 per year, and on the ClickBank marketplace alone, thousands of affiliates made that much in the last 12 months through affiliate marketing! 

And if you combine affiliate marketing with other lucrative online business ideas, who knows what kind of income you can generate?

 

Can I make real money online?

Absolutely! There are so many ways to make money online – the only real limit to your earning potential is the amount of time and knowledge you have to put towards your business venture. 

It’s not always easy, but the proof is in the numbers: people all over the world make solid part-time or full-time incomes from their online businesses.

 

How can I make money right now?

If you need money right away, your best bet is to sell whatever labor or expertise you have that’s in demand. Things like freelancing, consulting, or tutoring are a great way to get started.

But for a scalable business where you’re not trading your time for money, you can start affiliate marketing and see your first sale as quickly as 7 days!

 

Final Thoughts on How to Make Money Online 

The more you learn about online business, the more you realize that it’s just like any traditional business!   

If you want to make money online, you need to provide a valuable product or service, and you need to have a value proposition that justifies people buying from you over anyone else. 

Most importantly, you need to FULLY understand and commit to the path you choose, because:

KNOWLEDGE x ACTION = RESULTS 

Your efforts to build a business tend to compound over time. That “overnight” success you see from your favorite YouTuber or marketing guru is actually the culmination of years of hard work. 

But it all starts with the right knowledge. That’s why ClickBank created Spark, an all-in-one learning platform for affiliate marketing and ecommerce. 

Obviously, we’re a bit biased, but ClickBank has been around for more than 20 years. In that time, we’ve seen how affiliate marketing empowered countless vendors like Organifi and affiliates like Robby Blanchard to build million-dollar businesses! 

If you want to make money online with affiliate marketing, ecommerce, or any of the other ideas above, let Spark show you the way.