make money online

No one can dispute the fact that money is a huge part of our lives. That’s why we work so hard to get it.

Everyone wants to earn some extra money. I don’t care what anyone says, money can buy you freedom in more ways than one.

And financial freedom can be a source of real happiness, so in a way, I guess money does buy happiness!

Yes, I know there’s more to happiness in life than just money, calm down. 🙂 However, I bet you will find it hard to argue that when you do not have enough money in your bank account, life gets a little bit harder, no?

For years now, I have been obsessed with finding ways of making extra money online. It’s actually part of the reason why I started this blog.

From affiliate marketing to blogging to side gigs to launching a full-blown startup and everything in between, I have researched it all.

So, are you ready to change your life this year? Think it’s finally time to make money online? Here is how you can do that!

Skip to number 12 if you are looking to start something long term and aren’t just looking to make money online instantly.

Related article: How to start a blog and make money

Ways to Make Money Online in 2021

Before we begin, I’d like to say that not all of these methods are created equal. That’s why I have broken this article down into several sections. You can click on these links to jump directly to the section you want:

Easy Ways to Make a Little Extra Money in 2021

The methods here are all pretty simple. They require very little effort, so if all you need is to make money online instantly or a quick financial win, this is where you need to start.

Freelance Part-Time Jobs and Gigs that Will Make You Extra Money in 2021

This list contains methods that will allow you to make a more decent income, but they are only income-replacing if you decide to go all-in on them. There are people who earn a full-time income doing these jobs.

Businesses to Start Making Extra Money With in 2021

This list contains full-fledged businesses for those who are not simply looking to make a quick buck, or to make money online instantly. You will not make money overnight with these methods.

However, their growth potentials are extremely high, and you can potentially make a lot of money with them. If you are planning to leave your regular job and be your own boss someday, this is the list for you.

Other Ways to Make Some Extra Money in 2021

I’ve set up this section to be a catch-all section, where I will continually add new ideas as I come across them.

Easy Ways to Make Money Online 2021

1. Get Paid $10 For Signing Up And $25 For Referring A Friend To Rakuten

Rakuten is a great cash back app that has partnered with thousands of stores to give its users cashback whenever they shop online. Rakuten will pay you for doing several things:

1. Rakuten pays you $10 for signing up with them. Yes, just signing up with Rakuten guarantees you a free $10 sign up bonus. You can transfer this money to your PayPal or redeem it for gift cards.

2. Rakuten pays you for shopping online. It has discounts, promo codes, and daily deals that you can use to save money whenever you shop online. Everyone loves a discount and Rakuten has plenty of those.

To make it easy to find these deals, download the Rakuten browser extension so that you are notified whenever there are new discounts or deals.

3. You can also make money by referring your friends to Rakuten. Whenever your friends sign up using your link, Rakuten pays you $25+ for each referral! You can actually make a good amount of money just from referring people to Rakuten.

2. Make money online with Paid Online Surveys

What to expect from it: Most make money online survey sites pay an average of $2-$5 per survey. You won’t make millions doing this, but making around $200 a month is normal.

A lot of companies use paid online surveys to do their market research.

It is a great and cost-effective way for them to get an edge over their competition because it grants them a means of understanding consumer behavior.

The way this works is pretty simple.

Let’s say Starbucks wants to get into the fast-food business.

The first thing they’ll do is establish who their main competitors are, which, in this case, will be places like McDonald’s and KFC.

The next step they’ll take will be to hire a market research company.

This company will then try to find out what the market is like and if it can handle another fast-food chain.

How will they do this? By conducting surveys of fast-food customers. And the only way to reach a large number of these customers within a short time is to conduct these surveys online.

And that’s where you come in.

If you are a potential Starbucks Fast Foods customer, you might be selected to participate in these surveys.

Your job will be to try and offer insight into the direction they might potentially take, so for instance, you will help them figure out what established businesses like KFC are not doing or what they could be doing better.

The market research company will then collect thousands of survey responses from people like you, then compile them.

By doing this, they’ll start to see trends that they can then send back to Starbucks to inform their investment decisions.

In the end, Starbucks will have done its market research at a fraction of the actual cost, and they will end up investing in projects that they know for sure are absolutely worth it.

On the other hand, as a survey participant, you also end up making a bit of money on the side for helping them out.

Now that you know how surveys work, let’s talk about the returns on them.

As I mentioned earlier, you will not get rich doing online surveys. The usual rate is about $2-$5 per survey.

There are dozens of survey sites out there.

However, because of their nature, this space has gotten a reputation of being rather touch-and-go sometimes.

This is why you should only trust survey sites that are well-established and have a reputation of always paying out on time, preferably in cash.

Where to start: Here is a list of the best survey sites:

MyPointsGift cardsClaim your $10 Amazon Gift Card or $10 Visa Gift Card
Survey JunkiePayPal or eGift cardsSign Up to claim 100 points from Survey Junkie
SwagbucksPayPal or Gift CardsClaim your 300 free SBs

Related article: 14 Swagbucks hacks that will actually make you money

3. Get paid to shop online with MyPoints

If you usually do your shopping online, you can earn points for any purchases you make while shopping on your favorite online stores.

All you have to do is visit your favorite store through your MyPoints account then shop exactly as you normally would.

Shopping online will not only earn you MyPoints for all your purchases, but you might also get cash back for qualifying purchases.

You can earn as much as 40% cashback on a single purchase.

Related: MyPoints Review : How to make money with MyPoints

4. Sell your old stuff

What to expect from it: This method is a little open-ended, because the amount of money you’ll make depends on how much stuff you have to sell, the quality of that stuff, and how much of it you eventually end up selling.

Where to start: The best places to start are Decluttr for electronics, Bookscouter for books, and thredUp for clothes.

If you have a lot of stuff that you no longer use laying around the house, you can make some quick cash by getting rid of them.

Getting rid of your old stuff can not only make you a little (or a lot!) extra money, it is also just very liberating to downsize and declutter.

You will become more productive, more organized, and your space will get a much-needed facelift.

It is actually one of the easiest ways to feel less stressed and happier at the same time and make some money while doing it.

I highly recommend Declutter if you have old electronics or video games or even old LEGOs that you will probably never use again.

Bookscouter is great for books because it lets you compare prices across different vendors so you can choose the best one.

Finally, ThredUp is great for getting rid of all those extra clothes that are clogging up your wardrobe.

It is a very easy and cost-effective way of selling clothes online.

5. Install apps that help you save money

What to expect from it: There are a number of great money apps out there.

They all work in a variety of different ways, so it all depends on what you are looking for. However, we did a review of the best ones here.

Where to start: The best apps you can use to save money are Dosh, Honey, Drop App, and Digit App.

There are lots of great apps out there that can help you implement little changes in your life that will have a huge impact over the long term.

These apps work in a variety of ways.

The best ones like Dosh give you some cashback whenever you shop, while others help you budget or even earn some money by watching ads.

We already did a review of the best apps to help you save money, so please be sure to take a look at that post if you need more detailed info on these apps.

6. Get paid to install apps on your phone

What to expect from it: Most of these apps simply run in the background collecting data and then paying you for it.

Where to start: Nielsen Mobile App, S’more, Fronto, Slidejoy, Screenlift.

Admittedly, this method is not for everyone.

If you have no problem with some random company somewhere knowing what restaurants you like, then this is a great way to make a few dollars on the side.

If you ask me, Google, Facebook, and all these big corporations already collect our data without our permission and profit off it so I absolutely welcome the opportunity to make some money from my data.

The way it all works is pretty straightforward. These companies will pay you to install their apps.

These apps will then run in the background, tracking your spending habits, purchases, or internet usage.

The company will then pay you for sharing that information with them. The best part is that all this is completely anonymous.

Some of the apps you can get started with today include the Nielsen app, which is part of the Nielsen company’s research division (Nielsen creates TV show ratings).

The information you share with them will help companies better market themselves.

Another great app is S’more. It basically lets you sell ad space on your phone.

You will get content and ads on your lock screen, and then earn points daily for as long as you allow the app to remain on your phone.

These points can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards, Google Play purchases, Starbucks gift cards, and much more.

Other similar apps include Fronto, Slidejoy, and Screenlift.

Freelance Part-Time Jobs and Gigs that Will Make You Extra Money in 2021

7. Deliver food with Instacart

What to expect from it: You can expect to make about $7-$25 an hour delivering food which can translate to over $4000 a month plus tips.

Of course, it all depends on your location, your working hours, the products you deliver, efficiency of the service.

Where to start: You can start by downloading the Shopper app and providing your basic information like your name, address, and location.

At this point, you’ll be prompted to give the company permission to perform a background check on you.

Once you pass the background check, you will be notified both in-app and via email.

You should now be able to use the app to set your availability, get Instacart jobs, track your earnings, and seek help from Instacart’s support team if you run into any issues.

Delivering food part-time is a great way to put a meaningful dent in your bills plus you get to pick your own hours.

It is absolutely free to start, just sign up, wait to be accepted, then start accepting those delivery requests and making money!

The best part about food delivery is that if you are good at it, and if your customers like you, you can make quite a lot of money in tips.

8. Make money online as a tutor

What to expect from it: The amount of money you’ll make will depend on your chosen platform and how much experience you have.

Usually, there are price tiers, with more experienced or more popular teachers making more money than those who have just signed up.

Generally, though, expect to make anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour.

Where to start: Chegg, Qkids, and EF Education First are great platforms that you can use.

What language are you fluent in? Can you only speak English? That’s totally fine too!

No matter what language you speak, there is someone somewhere in the world that would pay good money to learn from you.

This is especially true for places like China, where there is a huge market for English teachers. You’ll get to teach kids via online classes and get paid.

There is an even greater need for teachers with some teaching experience.

If you have these qualifications you can start teaching from home.

9. Petsitting and dog walking

What to expect from it: Most people set their own hours. Depending on your experience and your location, you can expect to make anywhere from $12 to up to $50 an hour.

Where to start: Rover and Wag! are great sites that you can sign up for and get started right away.

If you are an animal lover, this is the perfect way to make some money on the side.

If you sign up for either of these platforms, expect to do a wide variety of tasks.

This includes pet sitting, drop-in visits for cats and dogs, dog-walking, boarding, and even pet daycare services.

Of course, you will be the one to pick and choose what you can and cannot do. And you will also set your own rates.

A great pro tip here is to sign up on both sites.

That way, you will be available to even more clients in your area, no matter what platform they are on.

10. Rent out that extra room in your house

What to expect from it: This greatly depends on your location, the demand for that location, and what you offer in your listing. Therefore, prices vary greatly.

Where to start: Airbnb and VRBO

If you have an extra room in your house, do not let it go to waste. Instead, use it to make some money!

Even better, are you planning to go on a vacation for a while?

Why not let your house make you some money in your absence by listing it and letting that sweet passive income come in while you are on holiday?

Sites like Airbnb and VRBO are perfect for this. All you have to do is sign up and list your place.

When someone is looking for a place to stay in your area, they may contact you and pay you to stay at your place!

The best part about all this is that it involves almost zero input from you. Plus, you do not need to spend any money to get started!

11. Rent out your car

What to expect from it: Again, this depends on your location and your car. However, some people make over $1000 a month renting out their vehicles.

Where to start: Turo and Getaround. Get both apps to maximize your earning potential.

This method is actually fairly new, but it has been increasingly getting more and more popular every year.

There is even more potential for making money online with it in 2021.

If you do not use your car often, you can have other people use it and pay you for it. You can rent it out while you work your 9 to 5 job then pick it up in the evening.

It really is as simple as it sounds.

All you have to do is sign up and list your car on Getaround or Turo and you can start making money!

Businesses to Start Making Extra Money With in 2021

12. Start a blog

This is by far the best way to make money online from home. There are several ways to make money blogging.

What to expect from it: It will take quite some time for things to get off the ground, but once they do, the sky is the limit. There are blogs that make over six figures a month.

Where to start: WordPress is a great platform to build your first blog on. You first have to pick a niche, then come up with a blog name.

Related article: How to start a blog and make money

You then have to get hosting on platforms like:

  • Dreamhost, – 2nd best overall, no higher renewals

Luckily, these don’t cost much. Some of them cost as little as $3.95/month.

Bluehost even has domain availability checker that helps you check if your website URL is available or not. If it’s not available, Bluehost will give you suggestions on something similar to what you wanted.

Related article: Detailed review of the best web hosting sites

Once you have gotten your domain hosting sorted out, you then have to choose a WordPress theme.

There are hundreds of themes to pick from. It’s somehow overwhelming.

Here are some of the best WordPress themes:

You can opt to use the free version, but I wouldn’t advise you to go cheap on a theme.

You want your website to look professional and to load seamlessly.

There’s an option of buying a theme then later when your blog picks up and you start making money, you can upgrade to a custom design.

Yes, the process of setting up a blog is very overwhelming, but it’s worth it in the end.

Creating content for your blog

Once you have launched your blog, you have to start creating content.

The beauty of this part is that you don’t have to be a gifted writer to create content. There are sites like Fiverr where you can get people to create content for you.

Fiverr even has people who will do that for you for as low as $5 per article. This is great, but most times going cheap means poor quality work.

Ensure you go through profiles to read other clients’ reviews before actually ordering content on Fiverr.

If your budget allows it, you can opt for Fiverr Pro where you will get great articles written. But these come at a cost.

I did a review on Fiverr here. Check it out and see if you can order content there.

Did you know that you can make money online with a blog?

People are running their blogs as businesses now.

I’ll use myself as an example. My blog is called Mel’s Mommy Chronicles.

I write about parenting, finance and lifestyle topics. However, you can write about whatever you want when you start your blog.

The general subject that your blog focuses on is called a niche.

Your niche is your audience because it is people who are interested in reading about the subject you talk about most that will come to your blog.

In the real world, it’s like having a shop. When you sell coffee, your customers will be people who want to buy coffee.

And that same rule applies to every single business, no matter what they sell.

Different people start blogs for different reasons. For instance, I started Mel’s Mommy Chronicles to establish an informative resource for my readers.

You may opt to start a fitness blog or something to document your fitness journey and inspire people to join you.

Someone else might start a woodworking or embroidery or gardening blog to teach people a skill that they are good at.

It is all these different reasons that lead to the wonderful diversity there is in the blogging space.

If you want your blog to eventually make you money, you need to have that goal at the back of your mind as you launch.

Your blog should help you connect with people, share your ideas with the world, and make you money doing something you love.

It is important to mention here that blogging will not immediately start making you money.

If you are consistent with it, you’ll probably start seeing the results of your hard work in about 6 or so months.

The good news is that there is no upper limit to how much money you can make, so it can potentially make you millions!

To make money with your blog, you will need to combine a number of methods to maximize your earning potential.

Most bloggers rely on product sales, paid sponsorships, selling courses, dropshipping, and my all-time favorite, affiliate marketing.

These are some of the most popular money making methods on the web, but many more exist.

If this sounds like something you would like to try, I highly recommend building your first blog with WordPress (it’s the same platform that Mel’s Mommy Chronicles runs on), then hosting it on Bluehost.

I think this is the most cost-effective way of building your online business from scratch.

Earning from a blog takes time. But if you choose to invest in your education by purchasing blogging courses, then this process will become a little easier and will take a shorter time.

Blogging courses help you learn from the best bloggers.

They give you tried and tested methods that will help drive traffic to your blog.

And more traffic means more money. And that should be your ultimate goal.

Superstar Blogging by Nomadic Matt is a great place to start.

Related: How to start a blog in 15 minutes

13. Make money online with Facebook Ads

There are very many ways to make money through Facebook ads. One is by including ads in your videos.

You can earn money by including short ads before, during, or after your videos.

Facebook automatically identifies natural breaks in your content to place your ads. If you want, you can also choose your own placements.

Your earnings will be determined by the number of video views and who the advertisers are.

Where to start: Facebook has a free introductory tutorial to Facebook ads.

Other ways to earn from Facebook ads:

  • Fan subscriptions: allow your fans to directly fund your page through monthly, recurring payments that you set. You can identify your biggest fans by the special badge provided to them by Facebook in the comments. You can reward them with perks such as exclusive content and discounts.
  • Branded Content: Make money by publishing content that features or is influenced by a business partner.
  • Subscription groups: Facebook allows group admins to sustain themselves through subscriptions.

14. Start a Freelance Copywriting business

What to expect from it: It depends on how good your work is and how many clients you manage to land. The sky is the limit!

Where to start: Upwork and Fiverr are great platforms to get some experience if you have never gotten paid to write before.

However, if you already have the experience, build your portfolio with a blog, and start pitching directly to clients.

The internet has brought with it an unending demand for quality copy.

If you enjoy writing, you can turn your hobby into a business and make lots of money off it.

I actually also offer copywriting services through this blog, so I’d like to think I know a thing or two about this business 😉

I also did a post on how to become a freelance writer here.

So how can you get started?

Well, you first have to have a good idea about the kind of website copy you want to be writing.

Website copy is basically all the blog posts and articles you read online. Your job as a copywriter will be to create that content.

So the first thing you have to do is identify what you are good at. What do you like writing about?

This can be literally anything; tech, finance, fiction, relationship advice, you name it.

Just be sure to make it something you enjoy writing about because if you are going to be doing this for the long term, you do not want to get bored of it along the way.

What would you enjoy writing about if no one was paying you to do it? This is called your niche.

Once you have identified your niche, the next step is to start creating content for that niche. There are two ways to do this.

  • One, you can sign up to content mills and sites like Upwork and Fiverr then offer your writing services. People will pay you to create content for them, and you will get lots of first-hand experience on what it means to write for a client online.
  • Another way to do it is to start your own blog. With your own blog, you can write whatever you want, however, you want, and you will be able to quickly build a portfolio of articles that you can show to future clients.

I suggest you do both these things.

Build a website and get paid to write on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr at the same time.

You will get the best of both worlds.

However, you just have to keep in mind that writing on platforms like Upwork is a means to an end: it shouldn’t be something you want to do long term.

You just want to get your feet wet, understand how some clients give their instructions and briefs, and to get used to writing web content.

When you feel like you’ve got the gist of it (shouldn’t take you more than a month), your next step is to start cold pitching directly to clients.

If you already have some experience creating web content, you can jump to this step immediately, no need to work your way up through content mills.

Cold pitching involves approaching potential clients and asking them if you can create content for them.

This is where your portfolio comes in handy.

If they like what you can do, they will hire you. You will then have to rinse and repeat until you have several clients under your belt.

The more clients you have, the more money you’ll make.

Pro tip: You can apply this same strategy and use it to start a proofreading/editing business or transcription business.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Freelance Writing and How To Get Freelance Writing Jobs

Other Ways to Make Some Extra Money in 2021

15. Design and sell t-shirts online

If you have an eye for good design, you can probably make money online designing t-shirts.

The best part is that these days, you do not even have to worry about shipping and printer quality.

Most platforms only need you to come up with a design and upload it, and they will take care of the printing and shipping. This makes everything so simple!

A great place to start is, where you can design and sell t-shirts without paying any money upfront.

If you can’t come up with your own designs, you can hire a graphic designer to do that for you.

You can find really good graphic designers from platforms like:

16. Make money online losing weight

Yes, this really is a thing now. A site called HealthyWage lets you make a bet on your own weight loss.

If you accomplish that goal within the time frame you set, you win the bet. If you don’t you lose.

For example, if you bet $30 that you can lose 20lbs in 6 months, you will win anything from $200 to over $500 if you beat that goal.

Otherwise, you lose your $30.

17. Make money online with Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online especially if you have a website, a social media account, or Youtube channel.

With affiliate marketing, you get paid whenever someone purchases a product or service through your link.

If you are interested in affiliate marketing here are 136 beginner-friendly affiliate programs that you can sign up for and get started today!

18. Proofreading

Proofreading is looking for spelling, grammar, formatting, and punctuation mistakes found in a document. If you usually notice mistakes when reading any the of text, then you should seriously consider being a proofreader.

But first things first. As easy as proofreading may sound, you still need training before actually working.

Luckily, there are people who offer free training for beginners.

Caitlin Pyle is a very successful proofreader who earned over $40, 000 in her first year working as a proofreader.

She created a FREE 76-minute workshop to teach beginner proofreaders on how to make money proofreading.

You can attend the FREE workshop here

19. Start a Fiverr freelancing business

Fiverr is a great platform to start a freelancing career because you can sell literally any service on Fiverr, from graphic design, to freelance writing, to modelling.

Think of anything service, and you’ll definitely find someone selling that service on Fiverr.

I joined Fiverr four months ago and so far I have managed to make $4,774.50 as a side hustle.

You can use Fiverr to sell whatever service you want. Most gigs cost between $5 to $100.

The best thing to do is browse the Fiverr website to see what service you can sell. After making up your mind, you can create a gig and promote it to your email or social media pages.

20. Create and sell an online course

If you are looking for a passive income idea, starting an online course should be on top of your list.

The hardest part is creating the course and marketing it. Once it picks, it’ll start making you money while you sleep.

If you consider yourself an expert on a certain subject, you can use your expertise to create a course and make money.

You can create your course on platforms like Thinkific or MemberVault. These are the best platforms to create, host, share, sell, and interact with your students.

Final Thoughts on How to Make Money Online in 2021

As much as I would have liked to include them on this list, there are no ways of making money online instantly with zero effort.

If you have found any, please let me know, I would love some free, easy money.

As you can see, all these methods will take a bit of effort and commitment. And that’s ok because working hard and working smart are the only ways you will ever become wealthy.

That, and inheriting a family fortune. But if you had a family fortune waiting for you you wouldn’t be reading this, would you? 🙂

With these methods, you will soon be on your road to financial freedom this year. It’s not much, but it’s a solid start. Stick with it and you will be making the kind of money you can only dream of in no time.

If you have any comments, feedback, thoughts, suggestions, or perhaps you just think I should add something to this list, I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!

I’m building an ultimate list that I would like to make as comprehensive as possible. So this is definitely a long-term work in progress.

Be sure to frequently check back to find out about all the new methods that we will add to the list!

Anyway, I hope this helped. Good luck! 🙂

PS. Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission.”

21 thoughts on “Legit Ways to Make Money Online in 2021”

  1. Thank you for this amazing advice. Along with copywriting, proofreading is also a very promising option and a good way to earn from home.

  2. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all
    is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a
    pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not
    100% certain. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

    1. Setting up a blog is pretty easy these days! And it isn’t as costly as people think. I’ve actually gone into detail on point 11. You can check that out.

  3. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog!

    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  4. Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working
    with? I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
    having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something completely unique. P.S
    My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    1. Hi Virginia,

      No problem! I use WordPress for my site. I chose it because it has lots of design flexibility and it is pretty straightforward to use. If you need a step by step guide on how to start a blog with WordPress, I have a detailed post on that here.


  5. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.

    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?

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