21 Genius Ways How to Make Money Online Legitimately (on the Side) in 2020

21 Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online (Make $5000+ Monthly)

If you’re anything like me, the majority of your time is also spent on the internet. Well, what can I say? YouTube, Netflix, and Instagram are the ones to blame.

But do you know that if you can redirect how you use the internet from “a mere entertainment tool” to a “money-making machine”, you can make money online and can build a business out of it?

And eventually, it can help you achieve financial freedom!

Heck, there is an 8-year-old who made $26 million on youtube last year. I mean, I’m both fascinated and jealous by that kid.

Who knows how much we can earn if we just use the internet the way that kid does?

But we remain distracted on sites like Facebook and BuzzFeed which are filled with stuff that makes you want to spend as much time on their platform as we can just so that they can make money off of it.

The consumption of their content is entertaining but a non-productive way to spend one’s time. Buzzfeed has quizzes that’ll tell you what kind of pasta you are!

Yup, it’ll be pretty “fun” to know what kind of pasta you are, but how is it any useful? 

So, instead of spending hours jumping from one means of entertainment to another, you can make some serious cash out of the internet. Take it from the guy who earns a living running this website. That’ll be me!

Given below are a few ways you can make money online even if you are a total beginner-

This post contains affiliate links, please read Disclaimer for more info.

21 High-paying ways you can make money online

1. Start a Blog of Your Own

Of course, I’ll put Blogging as #1. Being a full-time blogger, blogging has allowed me to live life on my own terms and provided the financial stability that an individual needs.

And when I say “on my own terms”, I mean ON MY OWN TERMS!

No alarm wakes me up in the morning, I can work when I want, I can travel when I want. I absolutely love my job and I know for a fact that not many people are in liberty to say that.

What exactly is a blogger, you might ask?

Anyone who runs/manages/creates content for their own websites and blogs are bloggers. They consistently publish their original content and makes money out of it through various monetization methods such as

  • Display ads
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsorship
  • Online courses
  • Physical products/merch etc.

No, you don’t need technical or coding skills to run a blog. Blogging is pretty beginner-friendly, even your grandma can set it up.

No, you don’t need a high upfront investment to set up a blog. Absolutely perfect for people who want to start a side hustle without any risk of losing money.

Have you ever thought of starting something? A side business maybe? Something that interests you? Somethings that can build your identity and online presence and also makes you a ton of money on the side?

If you said YES, then let me tell you, Blogging IS for you!

All you have to do is host a website with WordPress with the domain of your choice and you’re good to go. Check below if the blog name (domain name) you’re thinking for your blog is available or not,

If you want to give blogging a try here is an in-depth step by step guide on how to set up a blog that’ll take you less than 10 minutes to start, tap here for the setup guide.

2. Become a Freelance Writer

A freelance writer is someone who works at home. They do not work for any specific company rather they contract out their writing and writes for a number of different clients, such as websites, blogs, magazines, and more.

This might sound a little off but you don’t really need a strong writing background in order to thrive in this business. 

How much can a typical Freelance writer make?

According to PayScale.com, a part-time freelance writer salary is put somewhere in the range of $24,000 to $115,000 a year!

This range can go as high as $200,000 a year

How can you get started?

Holly from Club Thrifty started doing freelance writing on the side with no real background, and now makes over $200,000 per year from her writing.

Now she has a course primarily focussed on people who want to be a successful freelance writer with no previous experience. 

In her course, she has included nine video modules, several printable worksheets, awesome add-ons and also,

  • How to find your clients.
  • Which platforms to choose. 
  • How to structure your work so that you can make a six-figure income.
  • how to find a beginner’s job and move up with time and all that good stuff. 

Check out Holly’s free workshop to start your $200,000 journey! 

3. Become a proofreader

Proofreading is the process of reviewing and analyzing the final draft of a piece of writing to ensure accuracy in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting, and it should make sense altogether in the end. 

Freelance proofreading jobs are the kind of work from home jobs where a person spends time identifying typos in the text formats.

So, if you like correcting mistakes and can spot errors, or can easily fix hidden misspellings, proofreading may be the thing just for you.

In 2014, Caitlin Pyle made over $43,000 by working as a freelance proofreader. 

After she had a ton of success doing that, she decided she wanted to teach others how to do the same thing, so she started up Proofread Anywhere to make sure that others learn to proofread the right way and get clients consistently.

How much money do freelance proofreaders make?

According to Scribendi.com, the ones offering freelance proofreading services, who vary widely in skill level and background, make around$0 to $45 per hour. 

Professional services that offer by-the-hour proofreading can charge up to $95 per hour.

How to get started with proofreading?

The easiest way to get one of these work from home proofreading jobs is by signing up for Caitlin’s Free Workshops on how to get started as a proofreader. Here you can learn so much about starting a proofreading job and making money from it.

P.S- The workshop is Free. Sign up for Caitlin’s Free workshop here.

4. Create Content for YouTube

21 Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online youtube image

YouTube is something that everyone has access to but only a fraction of those people actually makes money from it. Here are some eye-opening stats about youTube (as of 2019)–

  • Number of MONTHLY active users: 1.9 Billion+
  • Number of DAILY active users: 30 Million+
  • Number of videos watched per day: 5 Billion+

That 8-year-old kid we talked about earlier, makes videos that reach only a small percentage of the total audience on YouTube yet makes him millions. Just think about how much potential there is!

With the recent changes, creators will require at least 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours worth of watch time (within the past 12 months) on their channel in order to monetize it with Google Adsense ads. 

How To Start a YouTube Channel Successfully (For Beginners)

In general RPM (rate per thousand views) of ads on videos ranges from $2 to $7 (RPM on money-related videos can go as high as $40/1000 views).

So to make $5000 a month you’ll be needing 1,000,000 monthly views (taking RPM of $5).

Another way to make money on youtube is through brand sponsorships, where certain brands reach out to creators to promote their product to their audience. Here the brand pays the creator depending on the views and size of the audience. 

But why are people so hesitant to start? The most common thought process most people go through who have never started a youtube channel is a follows–

What videos I should make?

I absolutely have zero ideas.

What if it flops? Or it turns out to be really bad? It’ll be so embarrassing! I don’t even have a proper camera and editing tools!

meh! Maybe later.

In my blog post How to start a YouTube Channel successfully (as a beginner), I have heavily emphasized the importance of starting. Just start the damn channel.

It might not be perfect, it might not get any view whatsoever but you cannot grow big unless you start small. The key is to start.

5. Become a Virtual assistant

A Virtual Assistant (Also known as VA) is a person who helps businesses from a remote location through their paid services.

Thanks to the development of high-speed internet facilities, file sharing, and real-time multimedia communication, many skilled people now have the freedom to work from home.

Moreover, If a business needs instant help, hiring a VA is much less complicated compared to bringing a full-time staff. 

If you want to know more about what you could offer and choose what suits you best, check out this list of over 150+ services that a Virtual Assistant can offer to a client by downloading it here.

An average North American can earn anywhere from$35 to $50 per hour. This rate goes as high as $100 per hour depending upon the area of expertise and experience.

How to get started as a Virtual Assistant?

If you think Being a Virtual Assistant is something you can do and have a desire to be self-employed, I know you’ll find Gina’s course 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success incredibly helpful. Her strategies are solid and very practical to follow up.

Gina from Horkey Hand Book, a millennial mom from Minnesota, is an awesome example of how you can set up a VA business.

Following her course, many students end up getting hired by their first client before they finish the course.

Click here to get access to Gina’s Horkey Hand Book course and start your independent VA life

6. Try Transcription

A transcriptionist is like a professional typist who listens to recorded or live audio file and then converts it into text format by typing. They offer their services to medical, legal, and general transcription industry.

Working from home as a transcriptionist has its benefits, including working at your own pace and according to your own schedule. You have zero commute time with the comforts of your home.

The only requirement for this job is to be able to type with speed and accuracy. There are basically three types of transcription:

  1. General Transcription
  2. Legal Transcription
  3. Medical Transcription

General transcriptionists transcribe on the media and research level. This might include bloggers, podcasters, interviewers, researchers, YouTubers, marketers…the list goes on.

The legal transcriptionist transcribes in the legal areas and medical transcription for medical areas obviously.

How much money do Transcriptionists make?

Depending on your skill level and expertise, anywhere from $20 to $45 an hour can be expected.

How to get started with transcription

To be a Transcriptionist one needs to have the skill of typing fast, accurate and error-free.

If you think this is something you can pull off, I recommend you to have a look at TranscribeAnywhere.

TranscribeAnywhere offers affordable, high quality, proven transcription education that you can actually apply for getting big clients. You can learn to transcribe with excellence, and you can do it from anywhere

7. Teach English online to make money

When it comes to adapting, certain traditional ways need to change to adapt, teaching is no exception here.

Since there is a growing demand for online education solutions, some platforms like VIPKID and K12 have taken the initiative to implement changes.

So, If you are a teacher and have a license to teach, you can now start teaching classes from home. Classes are usually taught via Skype or pre-recorded video sessions as per requirements.

How much do online teachers and tutors make?

Tutors typically earn anywhere from $14 –$22 per hour.

How to find online teaching and tutoring jobs?

Since the internet, like most “work from home” professions, teaching, and tutoring professions might as well need to update their ways to enjoy the “work from home” facilities.

For example, one of the most popular work from home jobs out there right now for online tutors is teaching children English through the platform VIPKID.

The service is super flexible, you get to set your own hours. VIPKID provides the lesson plans and communicates with the parents, all you need is a computer with a webcam and that’s it.

K12 is a similar platform for online teaching and you have to go through the interviews and background checking for the hiring process.

8. Claim Free money on Rakuten and Paribus

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Money saved is money earned“.

While this might be true to some extent saving money does not really help you make a lot of money. Especially if you really need something, you don’t really have a choice to save whatsoever.

But with services like Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) and Paribus, you can claim discounts, cashback, price drops every time you shop online. EVERY TIME!

Rakuten helps you get discounts that you cannot easily find. To get the offers, all you have to do is shop normally as you would on Sephora, JCPenny, bed bath & beyond, etc through their website and they will instantly provide you with discounts and cashback.

That’s all!

Signup for Rakuten here!

Paribus helps you to claim the money you’ve already spent on something if the price of that product has dropped after you made the purchase. Yes! AFTER you’ve already completed the transaction. That is pretty neat!

Signup for Paribus here!

I know that a little discount here and there won’t help you make big bucks, but it all adds up over time. Plus, it is completely free, nothing to lose here!

9. Claim Two FREE stock on Webull (worth $1400)

Webull is a mobile trading app that offers free stock trading options. It is absolutely beginner-friendly (tried and tested by yours truly) where you can practice trading in real-time with a feature called paper-trading for free.

Webull is the first trading app I’ve ever used and it has really helped me brush up my knowledge about the stock market and trading.

I suggest you signup for that free stock and deposit $100 (another free stock here) and then you can learn and trade high valued stocks in real-time.

Note: If you open a WeBull account you’ll get a gift of FREE stock worth up to $250. And after that, if you deposit $100 for trading you’ll get another FREE stock valued up to $1400.

Sign up for WeBull now and get your free stock

10. Invest spare changes with Acorns

Investing might be a no-no for you when you don’t have a very high income because of the risks involved. It is really hard to put your hard-earned money into something that may or may not make your profit.

But what if you only had to invest spare changes that you normally spend here and there? That’s exactly what you can do with Acorns, invest spare changes!

If you aren’t comfortable with investing in the stock market or don’t know where to start, you can always start small by investing cents to test the water.

Acorns will allow you to invest as little as $0.01. Best of all, those cents are invested in Vanguard funds known as one of the best funds that normally require investors $10,000 or more for the initial investment. Plus, you get a $5 bonus if you sign up using my link

It will round up your purchases and invest those leftover cents into the stock market. Plus, it will give you cashback offers (more like 20%) far higher than those from the biggest cashback sites out there. 

Sign up and start with Acorns here and get your $5 sign-up bonus.

11. Become a Facebook marketor

With over 2.42 Billion active users on Facebook, it is a goldmine for businesses. But the problem arises for businesses that do not know how to utilize facebook’s advertisement features.

Facebook marketors help such businesses to run ad campaigns on Facebook to attract new clients. 

Have no idea how the whole Facebook ad thing works? 

The FB Side Hustle Course, created by Bobby Hoyt and Mike Yanda, two world-class Facebook marketers, created this course to teach you everything you need to know about Facebook marketing for businesses.

This course helps you quickly master your work-from-home Facebook ads business and will teach you:

  • Know how to set up a Facebook ad for a local business
  • How to find businesses that pay you for this service
  • How to convert those businesses into recurring client
  • Scale the revenue

How much can a Facebook marketor make?

The income rate usually depends upon the conversion rate or results you were able to generate for a specific client. But it usually varies from$1000 to $5000 or sometimes more for bigger clients.

12. Rent out your empty spaces with Airbnb

If you have a spare room or you want to get into the rental business, Airbnb is the easiest way you can get started.

Here is how you can get started-

  • Create a listing of your space: Describe your space, location nearby things with photos
  • Select your price: You can check online for the price ranges near your area and you can also set your own prices
  • Post it: Finally, post your listing on the website. You will be paid via PayPal, wire, direct deposit, among other ways.

How much money can you expect to be an Airbnb host? according to Airbnb, the average host makes $6,000 per year. for more details, check out Airbnb’s homepage.

12. Rent your unused stuff with Fat lama

We all have something around the house that is not used for months and years, just sitting there eating dust.

An old camera, a drone, and an old guitar or just camping stuff. If you’re not using them or not going to use them anytime soon, you can rent these items and make money in the meantime.

Fat Llama is an online peer-to-peer rental platform that allows you to rent out items you already own and surprise! surprise! make loads of cash from it. Which is absolutely FREE to use and even gives its first users $25 upon signup.

The platform has been dubbed the “Airbnb for stuff” which seems pretty right!

14. Participate in market research

Do you know that companies invest a lot of money in market research, to know the customer’s intent, interests, etc?

You can take part in such market research programs (also known as “surveys”) to make money in your free time simply by answering easy peasy survey questions.

Some of the major Paid survey platforms are:

15. Sell On Etsy

Are you looking for an outlet to fuel your creative and entrepreneurial desires?  If you’re crafty, you can easily sell jewelry, cards, paintings, artwork, etc on Etsy and make money online.

Etsy is the most popular online craft marketplace. In 2018, over two million sellers sold their stuff to more than 39 million buyers. Sellers create a “shop” that groups all of their items in one place for listing.

Also, if you accept payments via Etsy Payments, the site will collect 3% and a $0.25 payment processing fee compared to 5% for other payment gateways.

16. Start a Dropshipping Business

According to Shopify,

“Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product.”

Meaning, in dropshipping you don’t have to make or keep track of inventory and shipping yourself, you can sell other supplier’s products and they handle the rest.

While there is an option to sell other’s products, you can also sell your own products by opening an online store.`

How much money can you earn as a Dropshipper?

There is not a definite range on how much money you can earn, you could be making anywhere from $500 a month to literally millions a month by selling products online.

Fun Fact: Kylie Jenner got her “Youngest Billionaire” status by selling makeup products online (KylieCosmetics.com).

How to get started?

Starting an online store is very easy, trust me. I’ve opened quite a few of them in the last year. The only problem is, it is not so easy when it comes to scaling or bringing people to your store. Most of the drop shippers use Facebook ads to drive traffic to their online stores.

There is a lot you ways to can learn this business model from the Pros. Quite a lot of youtube channels teach about building an online store through Shopify. (Personal recommendation: Scott Hilse)

And if you want to have first-hand experience in this business, you can also take up a course in this area.

If you want to learn more about dropshipping, I would suggest you to have a look at Scott Hilse’s Simplified Dropshipping. It has practical tips to scale your dropshipping business.

17. Make deliveries for Postmates and Doordash

While food delivery isn’t something new but it remains an evergreen gig, because most of us like to eat good but are really lazy to make food most of the time. With platforms like Postmates and Doordash,

 A lot of people have started delivering food with Postmates and Doordash because it’s is a flexible, easy way to earn money on your own schedule.

You can deliver at any time of the day, whenever it’s convenient for you. If you’re approved, you just get started with the app and start receiving delivery requests in your area and make money depending on how many deliveries you make.

p.s-Tips are also involved!

18. Become a dog walker or  a dog sitter

If you love the presence of dogs then this is right up your alley. Dog sitting is one of the few gig economy jobs that has gained popularity really fast.

Rover connects pet owners with people who can walk their dogs, feed them, or just take care of them while they’re not home.

Typical rates range from $25 to $100 a night for a session on the high end. Pop-in visits for 30-minute may make you in the $10 to $30 range. This can add up quickly if you have a very dog-friendly neighborhood or have repeating clients.

Signup for Rover here!

19. Apply for amazon’s remote working jobs

Amazon is a multi-billion-dollar company, so to run this company smoothly they are consistently in need of employees, both part-time and full time. 

If you’ve been looking for legitimate part-time work from home jobs, Amazon usually has vacancies for that. Amazon recently announced plans to add tons of remote customer service jobs over the years.

They’re hiring for a variety of positions ranging from the department of customer service to data entry, all the way to supply chain manager.

How much does amazon pay for remote workers?

$10 per hour to $50,000 per year depending on your position and experience.

How to apply for Amazon’s remote jobs?

To know more about the job details or salary information check out Amazon’s Virtual Locations jobs page.

20. Become a graphics designer

A graphic designer makes money from completing design jobs. They may be employed by an organization/company, like an ad agency or large company’s designing team.

Many large firms have entire departments dedicated to design because of course, design helps to get exposure.

While there are a lot of design jobs in major companies, graphics designing can also be considered self-employment where you have to work with different clients from home.

If you want to pursue graphic design, there are a few ways to gain the required skills. You can take a few designing courses on skillshare where you can learn from professionals with a lot less fee involved compared to other alternatives.

21.  Flip items to get huge profit margins on eBay

How do the ideas of “buying stuff cheap and then selling them for much higher prices” sound to you? That is exactly what flipping is!

This is what made Rob and Melissa $42,000 in 2015 working only 5-10 hours a week. And in 2016 they made $133,000 flipping items.

Some of the best flipped items that they’ve done include:

  •  Door handle: Bought for $8, sold for $200 (+$192 profit)
  •  Double stroller: Bought for $90, sold for $380 (+$290 profit)
  •  Magnetic Machine: Bought for $5, Sold for $700 (+$695 profit)
  •  Exercise Bike: Bought for $100, Sold for $2,000 (+$1900 profit)
  •  Base jumping vest: Bought for $10, Sold for $200 (+$190 profit)
  •  Carousel Horse: Bought for $175, Sold for $1,299 (+$1124 profit)
  •  Patio set: Bought for $50, Sold for $2,100 (+$2050 profit)
  •  Autoclave: Bought for $100, Sold for $5,500! (+$5400 profit)

One of the students of the course said

“I want to give a quick shout out to Robert for opening my mind to selling big, bulky items on eBay. I got both a scanner and receiver for $17 and sold shortly after they were listed for $399 and $129! In the past, I would have passed on these items because I would have no clue how to ship them. Thanks again, Rob!” –Anthony F., Flea Market Flipper Student.

 You can learn how to make profit flipping items here, where they teach you how to flip items at an advanced level.

The Next Steps For You…

The grass always looks greener on the other side,

“Oh! that person makes so much money online, they probably have started early, now it’s too late for me!”  No, they didn’t start early, they are successful at what they do because they started! Early or not doesn’t matter!

We live in an age where there is an opportunity in every corner, and to utilize that opportunity either you have to invest a lot of money or you have to invest your time, lots of it, in order to grow your bank account.

So I suggest you get started and put yourself out there, test the waters, keep trying different money-making methods, I’m sure you’ll find something that perfectly aligns with your interests and values.

You may or may not get it right in the first hit, but it is really important to keep experimenting and learning.

P.s – Blogging wasn’t the first thing I tried to make money online, it was third. Third time’s the charm, I guess! 

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3 thoughts on “21 Genius Ways How to Make Money Online Legitimately (on the Side) in 2020”

  1. Awesome post! My favourite on that list is dropshipping, I personally do dropshipping and I also do blogging as well. I feel like blogging is a lot more passive though but, then again it depends if your consistently creating content every day or week.

    • Yes, blogging is quite passive. Though it makes money while you sleep, blogging requires consistent attention to create content and update existing ones.

  2. Great list of ways to make money online. I haven’t tried some of these. The most preferable method for me is ‘Blogging’.
    Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good works.


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