In this supersized post, I’m going to be sharing with you 40 different ways you make, (or save!) your first dollar online….
But there are plenty of ways here that you can scale up to plenty more!
With any of these methods, you could make your first dollar online.
Obviously, with the more longer term methods, you can potentially make a part-time, to full-time income online.
Then there are more of the pocket money opportunities, that will enable you to make the odd dollar or two, here and there.
The point is, if you can make 1 dollar online.. why not $5, why not $10, $100, $500 and more?
Plenty of the ways I’m showing you below can also be scaled up to make significantly more than just pocket change.
But to get to the next level, of building a sustainable income online, you will need to build something that you own and control…. your own business.
I’m still battling forward, working hard to get a stage where I can live anywhere and work from laptop on my balcony, overlooking the sea and watching dolphins leap in the glistening sun… blah blah……
A great part of making money online though, is there isn’t a ceiling to your earning potential.
It’s not like you reach a point and there is no further you can go… you can ALWAYS keep growing.
I have seen it first hand. I know that some people that are making crazy money online. So, why can’t that be you?
In the past, when I started, I may have been somewhat sceptical that people could make a living online.
Now that scepticism almost seems ridiculous to me – because I have seen so many success stories, ones I know are the real deal.
Out of all the people I know that have gotten to the financial freedom stage…. there is one thing all of them seem to have in common…
They started from ZERO, (with no knowledge on this online stuff) but they were eager to learn and grow and they never gave up. They just kept going until they reached their goals.
It’s for anyone who wants to make a small amount of extra cash, to a part time income, full time income… and everything in between.
I should mention that these aren’t all guaranteed to make you money every day – your best bet to making any sort of money is often to combine a number of different ways, depending on the opportunity.
When it comes to the bigger opportunities, those are the ones where you really have to put a lot of work, focus and energy into them. But they are also the most worth doing over all.
Also, I may repeat the same company or program more than once, if it makes sense to do so.
What things have you done online to make money? Please let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.
I’ve reviewed numerous cashback sites and apps on Rags to Niches, so if you’re familiar with my blog then you will have heard a fair amount about it already.
But it is one of the quickest ways to make money online and especially a small amount. This will only work if there is something you actually want to buy though.
As well as earning cashback directly online, there are also some fun apps around that you can download for free and can save you money.
A few that I’ve reviewed well include:
If you’re a blogger online, you can also earn additional money and bonuses by signing up as an influencer. You can read about that here.
Ok, maybe you won’t sell things every day, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t. What about a really cheap item you could sell on ebay?
Many people spend their weekends picking up other peoples junk from garage sales and car bootsales to sell on Ebay during the week. Some people make their living out of this.
If you’re not sure what to sell, check out this list of weird items that sell on ebay!
If the thought of all that direct selling makes you a bit quesy… there are companies that do some of the hard work for you, although you won’t make as much money.
Yes definitely a lot of work you have to put into this but it IS worth it and you will not only be able to reach your $1 a day, but considerably more if you stick with it.
I probably didn’t have my first $50 month for about 6 months!? That’s pretty bad, even in the blogging world.
However, I was starting from scratch and I did start a whole bunch of blogs/websites at the same time. There are some bloggers making millions, I kid you not.
But aside from those, there are many making little additional incomes, full time incomes and everything else inbetween.
Once you’re established, there are many ways you can earn money from your blog, whether via affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, or paid advertising.
Print on demand companies provide a service whereby, you send them designs and they print those designs on items of your choosing and will ship them for you to your customers.
In the past, this could be a bit tricky to get started, as you would have to generally pay for traffic online to get sales. But now there are some services online where, you may not necessarily have to pay for traffic.
One of these is Merch By Amazon, which gives you the opportunity to sell your designs on the Amazon platform and benefit from their traffic.
The main issue is, there is now a tonne of competition. Still, there still opportunity here, but you do need to apply and they have a waiting list. I’m told it’s now harder to be accepted.
Another, more recent opportunity, is with ETSY.
Etsy has now paired up with Printful, which means that you can print your designs on a tonne of items, (from clothing, to mugs) and have them on the ETSY platform.
Printful fulfils the orders for you and ships them to your customers. However, it’s a little more complicated than Amazon, although there is a lot less competition right now.
One thing that has really helped me get started is a site called Etsyrank.com – they have really fantastic tools for Etsy sellers and I am just using the free version!
Another platform that has it’s own traffic is Redbubble, although to a lesser degree, it’s still worth signing up.
While I just mentioned Etsy for print on demand, if you’re also a bit crafty and enjoy making your own items, you could also sell directly on the platform.
In this case, you would actually be creating and sending off your items, so it’s far more hands on. However, with the right product that is not too time intensive, you could still do really well.
Give your opinion on websites by testing out certain features and record your screen and voice as you do so. If you think it sounds complicated, it’s really not.
Each site provides full instructions how to get started and it’s actually really easy, as well as fun.
This is a way that I commonly use and it can make you much more than $1 a day. My favourite site is User-Testing, where you earn $10 for around a 20 minute test and I’m a 5-star tester on there.
The higher your ranking, the more you get invited to tests. However, you do need to keep looking for tests, as they disappear really quickly.
If you’re a keen writer, then writing for other people could be your gateway to making money online.
It’s often said that freelance writing is one of the easiest ways to make your first dollar online. But when you think about it, it can seem really ovewhelming.
If you have no experience online at all, where do you go? What do you do? How do you start?
One course I took personally and rate highly, is 30 days to freelance writng success, by Gina Horkey.
You can also pick up a very useful FREEBIE over here… 200+ profitable niches to get you started.
Other useful posts:
Clickbank is an online digital market place where you can both create and sell your own digital products, or work as an affiliate in order to sell other peoples products, (affiliate marketing knowledge needed)
If you want to learn how to create and market your own digital product online, you should checkout Clickbank University.
Fiverr is a great platform with plenty of opportunity. You can start selling gigs of all kinds from $5. That used to be the end of the story, however you can now grow with Fiverr and sell your services for considerably more.
Take a look at the links for some inspiration toget started.
This is where you will typically sign up to something, whether it be a free trial, newsletter or website and you get some money in return.
Often, this may involve spending some money first, (for example; you may have to pay $1 to join a trial and then you get $5 back once the trial is completed).
Typically offers that pay the most are things like, joining online casinos.
There have been various programs online that will claim you can make hundreds or thousands of dollars from completing cash offers alone. Largely, I wouldn’t recommend this.
That’s because, you often have to give your personal details and credit card details to complete offers and they don’t always go to plan, you can also gen inundated with spam and spam calls.
Make sure you take screenshots and have proof of any purchases you make, in case the offer does not go through.
So, if you do decide to go down a cash offer route, I’d suggest you do it on a temporary basis.
Some common places you can find cash offers include:
Moocash is an app where you can earn money in a variety of ways. They actually claim on their site that you could make $5 a day with them, although that may be quite difficult to do.
Nevertheless, I was surprised by the number of mini tasks available and they could be worth a look.
At Justanswer.com you can use your expertise to help people, in exchange for cash. The company has plenty of good feedback online and some of their top workers are making good money.
The sheer amount of different categories you can be an expert in is quite large, so it could be worth checking out, (even if you’re not sure what you’d qualify to answer questions about).
Straight up… you would probably need to be a general knowledge genius to regularly win at these quizzes, (which can have over a million entrants in the case of HQ). BUT, you can make some ok money if you’re amazing at quizzes.
If you don’t manage to make the equilivant of $1 a day, at least you may just have fun in the process.
Qmee has a little browser extension that can be downloaded for Google Chrome. When you search online, Qmee will pop up with suggestions for other things that you may like, related to your search.
For example, if you were searching for a particular type of clothing on Amazon, Qmee will pop up to the side and suggest an alternative.
If you click their add, you will earn a certain amount of money. Generally each time this may only be a tiny amount – (in the UK about 6p or 8 cents in the US).
But it all adds up and it wouldn’t take too much each day to make that $1… as they also now have paid surveys as well.
Unfortunately, this isn’t available to US residents, but is something I have done myself in the UK.
This essentially involves risk free betting. Where you use book makers bonuses to make a profit, without risking your own money in any way.
It’s a betting loophole, that’s completely legal. There are programs that talk you through exactly what to do, step-by-step.
I recommend a couple of programs below:
Slice the pie also has additional ways you can earn now too – by writing mini reviews on topics such as fashion and audio branding, (the categories change, I have seen options such as homeware and toys in the past).
You certainly won’t earn much and the amount they pay seems to go up and down – but, if you’re luck, you can complete reviews when a category is on a bonus and earn extra.
I used to be able to get close to 20 cents for a review at times with Slice the pie. Now it seems more like 5 cents. So, you would have to combine this with other activities to get to your $1.
That being said, it’s an interesting way to discover new music and brands.
Dropshipping is a sales model that takes a lot of the hassle out of direct sales. You don’t have to hold any of the products yourself, you simply get the sales and a third party will deal with shipping the item to your customer for you.
It means that your product could be created on the other side of the world, but you can still sell it directly to others.
I’m certainly no expert when it comes to this method of online business, but I can direct you to some people that DO know their stuff….
Kindle isn’t what it was a few years ago, when many people had quick success creating and selling ebooks, largely ones that they cheaply outsourced.
Amazon was flooded with poor quality books and they had a bit of a crack down. Even now though, the competition is tough and you’ll be wise to already have a platform/audience before you get started, (like a blog or email list already).
Still, I’m confident there is still opportunity here, if you’re dedicated. If you’re a particularly talented writer, then it’s also something you should look at.
While you could class this as “freelance writing…” this is a step down, so I gave it a different section.
That is because, Hirewriters is what is known as a content mill.
You can get content created cheaply, but you can also write content and get paid.
It’s a small amount at first, but more experienced writers get paid more.
Hirewriters have some excellent quality writers and I have sourced content from there myself.
If you’re a good writer, you can definitely get hired by the same people again and again!
You need to be a native English speaker to write for Hirewriters, (which isn’t the case somewhere like iwriter).
This is going to be an option for you if you have a large social media following. Generally, you will have a relatively successful blog or website, or a decent sized YouTube channel.
You can connect with brands and they will pay you for certain tasks. For example; they may pay you to write and share a blog post about them, or their product.
One company I’m familiar with in this space is Webfluential.
Some others I haven’t checked out, but have heard of are:
Alternatively, I found a great blog post exploring 57 different influencer platforms, over at Stedavis.com
Another long-haul method, much like blogging. However, there is so much potential in this space for people who aren’t camera shy.
There are YouTube videos about everything and anything – but to stand out, you will really want to have a well defined niche and you’ll want to target something that lots of people are searching for.
YouTube has considerably less competition than blogging – but a good idea is to combine the two. Have your blog AND your YouTube channel combined.
Not to say this is an easy route by any means, it’s still only a minority of those that give this a go, that see real success.
However, if you’re talking about making extra pocket money, or even a part-time income – this is completely acheiveable for anyone who is prepared to put some work in.
Yes, this is similar to starting a blog, or niche blog but it’s different as well. There are plenty of niche sites that are pretty much just review based and there isn’t much personality going on, in fact – the actual creator may appear to be anonymous or more of a company or group, (even if it is only one person that started it).
The differences between a niche site and a blog can be quite subtle and there are cross overs in between on many levels.
However, there are certainly certain sites that you could cetegorically describe as a niche site. One such site would be thisiswhyI’mbroke.com
This website is a prime example ofa successful niche website and it makes a tonne of money from affiliate commissions.
There isn’t really anyone injecting their individual opinions on this site, it’s just full of wierd and unusual products that people love to share and talk about.
I also mentioned this website over at another post I wrote: How to make your first affiliate sale online.
Some other posts that could help:
Field Agent is an App that gives people an opportunity to earn a small amount of money by completing tasks locally to them.
You first need to download the App and answer some basic questions. You then set your radius, that will give you the distance you’re willing to travel to complete a task.
You will then see a list of opportunities available in the area. If you want a job, you must accept it and complete it within an aloted time frame.
Once the job is completed, you follow instructions to send your results to Field Agent. If everything goes according to plan, you get paid.
How much work is available will vary considerably depending on locaiton. If you live in a big city, of course there will be more jobs available than in a tiny town, in the middle of nowhere.
Therefore, how much you make – is going to be dependent on location and how many people post jobs in that location.
We’ve discussed freelancing in general, but not specifically for VA work.
Virtual assistants can really do any number of tasks – from writing emails, taking phone calls, doing research, creating content, social media management and much more.
Initially, I thought that VA’s hired online would only be earning peanuts, as they’re so often hired in locations where the dollar or pound are worth considerably more.
But then I read this blog post – where Gina claimed she earned $34 an hour when she just started out. So, clearly, there are opportunities for getting a decent pay as a VA.
Some websites pay you for searching the web online. You use their search engine and now and then, you will earn a certain amount of points during the search.
The company I use for this is Swagbucks – as they have a browser extension that makes using their search engine very simple.
Also, QMEE pay you to search in a different way. As, they give you alternative suggestions to your search enquiry and will pay you for going to their alternatives.
When I have looked into this more in depth, I will link to my review. But basically, you can make money from linking to websites via shortened links via Adfly.
If you have ever used a link shortener, then you know exactly how this works – except, in this case, you get paid.
The downside is, the people that click your links will be directed to an Ad before they reach your destination. So, that may annoy people, I’m thinking.
In any case, it seems an easy way to get started making money online and you can even share these links on social media.
After reading this story on Side Hustle Nation about a guy who made $21,000 from Mechanical Turk I figured this was a site I should look into.
Despite the success story above though, most people completing tasks seem to earn well below minimum wage, if you’re looking at an hourly rate. But, still, worth checking it out if you’re looking to make a little extra cash.
It’s essentially a market place that posts tasks for humans to complete, that current computers are unable to do! These tasks are described as human intelligence tasks, or HITs!
The tasks are pretty varied. Anything from a standard type survey that you could expect from a paid survey site, to product descriptions, to choosing which photo is best potential storefront from a selection of photographs.
Of course, I’ve already mentioned some websites were surveys are involved, but there are literally hundreds and I imagine thousands, of online survey sites that will pay you.
They can be frustrating at times, as you have to always fulfil a certain demographic to manage to complete the survey, but generally if you can manage to complete the survey – earning between 50 cents and $2 is most common.
Stay away from any survey sites that claim you can make hundreds or thousands of dollars a month.
There are some freelance platforms where you can offer all sorts of freelance work. Whether it be graphic design, writing, editing, proofreading, setting up wordpress, market research, virtual assistant work.
Any task that you could imagine yourself doing online, you could hire someone else to do it.
There are a bunch of platforms you could check out. Some include:
Affiliate marketing comes hand in hand with some of the ideas I’ve mentioned. Such starting a blog, niche website, YouTubing, or clickbank.
However, it’s such a big thing that it deserves its own spot as well.
You can earn affiliate commissions for promoting other peoples products and those can rise as high as 100% in some circumstances.
Although, anywhere between 1% and 50% are common commissions affiliates can expect.
Affiliate marketing really isn’t quick or easy, but it can be lucrative once you reach a cetain level.
Wealthy Affiliate teach you all you need to know about affiliate marketing, from scratch.
Plenty of people online are making a good living writing and filming about the things they’re obsessed with.
Becasue, in many cases… if you’re obsessed with a certain thing, you will find other people are too! In some cases though, there are millions of people interested in your passion and the bigger the potential audience, the bigger the profit.
Of course, the most popular passions will have a higher rate of competition, but the rewards can also be greater.
I wrote two posts really that pretty much sums up my point here!
If you create a fan based page in a certain niche and start building up a giant following, there are various ways you can earn money from it.
As I mentioned earlier, there are influencer programs you could join that may pay you to share things on social media, but you you could also use your page to sell products on, you could use it to promote products you’ve created using print on demand services, (for example).
I wrote a post about this a while back here – how to make money on Facebook.
I first started making money online, in an indirect way, by entering competitions and sweepstakes online. It doesn’t come easy! I used to enter several thousand competitions every month.
Although, I did win everything from trips away, vouchers, ipads, games consoles, every gadget you can imagine really… I do recommend giving it a go, as you can win prizes that money just can’t by!
Related post: How to make money from entering competitions.
This is a bit more advanced – because you can actually sell domains for a huge amount of money, but you could also waste a lot of time and money.
A domain name is the name of a website and some people spend their time thinking up domain names that people could potentially want to buy and purchasing them.
At times, people could be willing to pay hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, to get a specific domain name they’re after.
A prime example of this could be famous people. If you buy the domain name of an up and coming star, chances are, they are going want the domain .com for their name.
I’m pretty hopeless at taking photographs myself, but if you’re passionate about taking pictures, you could potentially be rewarded for it!
Over at sites such as istock, you may be able to sell your pics for profit.
Another thing to consider down the road, is building websites to sell off at a later date – OR purchasing websites to sell for a profit.
You can sell a fairly new website for thousands, but if you have a website actively making money – that’s where things can get very interesting.
How much you can sell your site for, really depends on many factors. But it also depends where you look online! Some sources claiming you could make 24 to 34 x the monthly profit, (seems steep).
Another source claiming that 6 to 10 x the monthly profit is more realistic.
Again, you will want to check out Flippa, before you think about selling your site.
But before you even go into this, it’s a good idea to check out what’s going on.
Something I have next on my list to really look into as a method of making money online, but one that is a pretty popular side-hustle for many… that’s transcribing!
The sites mentioned below don’t tend to pay very much, but could be a way for some people new online to make a little bit of an extra income.
I haven’t personally reviewed these websites, but I will link to those reviews when I have.
Some people are making good money tutoring online. It could be as simple as helping someone with their homework, teaching a foreign language, an instrument, or even something like Web Design.
If you’re in the US or Canada, you could check out Tutor.com – which has a variety of subjects you could teach remotely online.
At VIP kids you can teach English online, (USA).
If you’re in the UK, Tutorful have now launched an online classroom, so that you can teach lessons online from home.
However, there are many examples there that could turn into a full-time income over time too.
I hope this post has given you some ideas; good luck getting started!
All the best,