As bills stack up and the cost of living rises, many people are looking to find a secondary source of income. And if they can do it at home in their spare time, well, that would be wonderful! But how exactly do you do that? This guide will cover the basics of how to make money online for beginners.

There are four key areas in which people make money online:

  1. setting up their own business
  2. using quick online platforms
  3. selling items, and
  4. selling what they already know.

Curious to learn more? Let’s jump in!

1. Set up your own business.

Without a doubt, the best way to make consistent money online is by creating your own virtual business. Now, this may sound scary, but it’s not as difficult as you may think. There are plenty of ways you can establish a business without any prior experience required.

Look at online job boards for job listings or list yourself on an online directory. You can also use platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork.

The best part is, you can set your own hours. Work an hour a day while the baby sleeps or ramp up full-time hours for a complete second income. Whatever works best for you, you can set it!

Virtual Assistant

As more businesses pivot to working virtually, more companies and people are in need of virtual assistants (VA). VAs do all the tasks that people don’t have time for or would rather outsource since they don’t have the experience.

Some examples include answering emails, scheduling social media posts, updating a website, networking online, organizing schedules, and so much more.

Every business will require a different level of commitment from a VA. Some want you available whenever they need you, and others have set tasks and weekly commitments they require. Always be upfront about what works best for you and see if you’re a good match!

If this sounds like the right career or side hustle for you, make sure to read this helpful article about how to become a virtual assistant.

Make money online as a Virtual Assistant testimonial

Social Media Specialist

Some VAs specialize in social media, and some people are complete strategists. If social media is something you feel you know the ins and outs of, you can easily market these skills. Social media specialists can create posts, schedule them, provide a specific strategy, respond to comments and messages, follow trends and analytics, and deal with paid social advertising.

You don’t have to be an expert on every platform. Find the platforms you love best, and then market yourself to businesses that may need help maintaining or establishing their presence online.


Every time you visit a website, someone has to write that content! Businesses are in need of writers all the time, whether that be for website copy, a new blog post, product descriptions, or social media captions. If you have a way with words, becoming a remote copywriter may be your next money-making method.

There are so many online roles I didn’t mention that you can make your own business for. From website design to personal branding, find the niche that works best for you.

2. Use your spare time.

If you are only looking to make some easy money when you have spare time, there are a few simple ways to make money online. Some you can do while watching TV, and some require a little more dedication. These options below on how to make money online are perfect for beginners as it requires very little commitment and time.


You may have heard of getting paid to do surveys. I’m happy to report that this is, in fact, a viable way to earn some extra cash. Now you may not be the next millionaire, but it can help you get a little extra spending money. Depending on what kind of survey you do, you can make anywhere from pennies to $100. Typically, the longer the survey, the more money it will pay out.

Survey websites to check out include Branded Surveys, Survey Junkie (make sure to read this post first about if Survey Junkie is legit), Vocalyz, or YouGov America.

Focus Groups

Similar to surveys, you can also participate in focus groups. While sometimes they prefer to have you in person, most focus groups can take place online. Sometimes, they want someone really specific such as females 25-35 who have gone on to get their masters. Or, you might see something more generalized such as anybody 18+ who lives in Texas. The goal is just to find ones that match you!

A focus group will take anywhere from 1-2 hours. In it, they will ask you questions and your thoughts about their subject, anything from politics to their latest product. Some focus group websites to get started include User Interviews and Respondent.


There are apps designed to help you earn money. Some are survey apps, like the ones mentioned above, and others are just on the phone.

One fun example is Sweatcoin, where it turns your steps while out walking or on a run into coins that you can redeem for products or gift cards. Fetch Rewards is one of my favorites that allows you to earn points for uploading photos of your receipt. And like most of the apps, you can then use these points to redeem them for gift cards.

Swagbucks may be one of the most popular apps. You can do things such as play games, watch videos, answer surveys, and search the web in order to earn your redeemable points.

3. Set up an online shop.

If you’ve got an eye for style, like to get crafty, or simply want to declutter your home, you can make some easy money by selling products online. When done right, selling items online is one of the most lucrative options on this list of how to make money online for beginners. It’s an excellent side hustle choice!

Sell Your Clothes

Clean out your closet and let your clothes have a second life with someone new! Going through your clothes a couple of times a year, you would be surprised at how many items you didn’t wear since your last closet cleanout. That’s a clear sign to get rid of them.

You can try selling online through Facebook Marketplace or with specific clothing reselling apps and websites such as Depop, Poshmark, and ThredUP.

Refurbish And Resell

Similar to clothes, you can also fix up items around the house you don’t like, such as furniture and electronics. The best places to sell these items are on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and the original online reseller eBay.

You can either sell them as is or try to flip the items. Be on the lookout at garage sales and flea markets for any hidden gems you may be able to fix up and resell for a higher price.

Make Digital Products

If you have an eye for design, you can get creative and sell your work online. By using Canva or Adobe software, you can make simple designs and then upload them to sites to be made into all sorts of different products.

For example, Redbubble allows you to sell your designs as stickers, notebooks, clothing, and all sorts of items. Amazon Merch is another popular one where you can upload your design, and Amazon will print and ship the clothing as people order it.

Make Physical Products

Of course, you can also make physical products. From handmade soaps to tumblers designed with a Cricut Maker, people love to support local makers online. If you have a crafting hobby already, consider selling your items through Etsy or Facebook Marketplace. It’s so nice to make money by doing something you already enjoy doing!

4. Sell your knowledge.

Knowledge is power. If you are already the master of a subject, you can certainly teach others online who are also interested in learning about what you already know. This is an easy and fun way to learn how to make money online for beginners that also allows you to help others.


Is there a school subject you know a ton about? Or perhaps you wouldn’t mind teaching English? You can connect with students from every corner of the world online and help them with their studies through tutoring.

Many sessions pay about $20 an hour, so the more sessions you schedule, the more you make. Websites that are great for online tutoring include Magic Ears and VIPKID.

Sell Courses

People love to expand their knowledge online and will happily pay for a course about a subject they’re interested in. Put your knowledge online by building out a solid course. It can be on anything from email marketing to jewelry making.

Good sites for hosting your course include Skillshare, Teachable, and Thinkific. My personal favorite of them, however, is Thinkific. It’s where I host my very own course, Budget 101, where I teach you how to make your own custom budget that works. You can check that out here!

Write An eBook

If you market your book correctly, you can get a good amount of passive income from writing an eBook. You can write an informational book about a subject you know tons about (or can easily research) and put some hours into it now to earn later. Hire freelance designers to make the layout of the book as well as the cover on Fiverr, which won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

You can sell your eBook on a website (though you need to make sure you get people to your website), or you can sell through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program.

Those are the basics when it comes to learning how to make money online for beginners. These four areas cover most of the methods that you will see for online money-making. I hope one of these jumps out at you as an interesting way to earn you some extra cash.