9 REAL Ways To Make Money Online In 2021 (For Beginners!)

So you’re searching the internet on how to make money online, and you see a bunch of different ways that people claim is the one ‘real way’ to make money on the internet. There are all these ‘gurus’ who want to sell you their courses and then there are the folks who do affiliate marketing, and they swear by it. Everyone and all the methods sound convincing. But when you dig into the methods a little further, you realize your new get rich quick scheme is a total waste of time, and so you end up back at square one.

Hmm… sounds familiar? If so, you’re in good company because that was my experience. 

To be honest and transparent, I’ve actually spent the better half of the last decade trying to answer this question for myself: “How can I make money online?”  And I’ve done a lot of research on this topic and tried a lot of different strategies to earn money online. I have fallen for those gurus who claim that I can make a ton of money doing this ‘one simple strategy no one else is talking about’ only to find out the hypothetical juice was not worth the squeeze. Admittedly, I am one of those people who insist on making a living from the internet, and at one point, I was all about the get-rich-in-a-snap-of-a-finger stuff. But I’m thankful for growth, and that’s no longer me! I’ve done the work to learn what’s really worth your time. So if you want to save yourself hours of trial and error, listen to me.

There really aren’t that many ways to make money online. In fact, when I thought about the different ways you can make money online, it actually was a lot less than what I thought. There are only 9 ways that money is made online, in fact. Yes, only 9 ways! In this article, I can help you to gain clarity on which of these ways you are interested in making money online. Then, you can just focus on that and forget about all the other ways.

Just a quick tip. Don’t try to do something that you know is going to make you a lot of money, but you don’t have a sincere interest or passion for it. Eventually, it will make you frustrated and you’ll end up abandoning it. The thing is you don’t have to love what you choose from this list, but you do have to like it enough. Why? because it’s going to take a ton of time and patience to see your efforts turn to money.

So, if you are ready, here are the 9 real ways to make money online in 2021.


This is one of the easiest ways that you can get started making money online. You know you’ll have a guaranteed paycheck and the ability to work from home or remotely. This is great for those who want to become their own boss and start a home based business because you’ll save time with having no commute and already being in your home.

This is exactly what I did.  I started my HR career when I was working online as an online tutor. I made really good money tutoring online, and I was able to save money from not having to commute and repurpose that for growing my business.


Digital products can be in the form of a digital course, an e-book, a digital planner, and more. It is easier to sell these products to your customers because it’s all internet-based and no physical products are involved. You can sell your digital products at any price you deem fitting.

Digital products are also a cheap way to start making money online. You can create these for free on websites like Udemy and Teachable. In fact, I got my start on Udemy. What’s good about Udemy is they will market your course for you. So if you’re starting from scratch, and don’t have an audience or group of buyers to sell to, you can start selling courses right away on Udemy. It is free to create a course there.  

Side note: Udemy gets most of the money when they make the sale for you. But don’t worry, you still get a percentage of whatever is sold. So I think that’s a great way to start making money online that’s free. 

Another popular, free course platform is Teachable — it’s also what I currently use. There is a free and paid version of Teachable. But the free version works just as well and you can start hosting and selling courses that way. So in general, digital products are a great way to start making money online for the beginners.


Affiliate marketing was intimidating to me at first because it sounded really fancy. But basically, it means that you are helping someone to sell their products. They either give you a link or a coupon code for your followers to use when they make a purchase. And when someone uses your link to purchase a product, they will give you a percentage of that sale. Does this sound good to you? Definitely, this is so simple and it is an easy way that people make money online.


There’s a lot of ways you can make money online by being a consultant to businesses. You can do this through reputation management, SEO, email and text message marketing, etc. But if you’re thinking about your educational background or skill set, don’t worry. You can learn how to become a consultant by just enrolling in an online course (Udemy has plenty) and learning how. There are major online platforms that offer software solutions for these consultative services and you can use them to fulfill your offer to your client(s). In my case, there wasn’t a course that I necessarily took; it was more from experience when I went to local businesses in my neighborhood and pitched them managed social media services such as responding to reviews, posting content on their social platforms, and coupon offers. I’m telling you, this is a very lucrative way to earn money online and the need is there!


You can make money from creating websites, logos, thumbnails, graphics, editing videos, etc. Basically, you’d take on different projects and work for yourself. This is often referred to as freelancing. I personally love using one of the largest online freelancing websites, Fiverr, because I’ve been able to get literally everything digital for my online business created via there. Anyone with a skill can sign up on Fiverr and start taking on clients, which means earning money! So internet services are another lucrative way that you can make money online.


There is an internet wave of people practicing and teaching day trading of stocks. I’ve come across people who are adamant it’s the way to go, though I’ve had a short lived educational experience on it myself, I can see why they may feel that way. Many people have become millionaires and billionaires from stocks.One in name is  Warren Buffett, an American business magnate, who has earned a fortune because of his stock trading strategies. Even if you’re not looking to become millionaire status, there are plenty of everyday people doing this and it is a real way to make money online.


When it comes to investments, cryptocurrency is the latest thing. There are a lot of digital currencies that you can find on the internet, but Bitcoin is the digital currency that really went up in value in recent times and even if you know nothing about crypto, you’ve most likely heard of Bitcoin. This is the best time to get into cryptocurrency. It does take strategy, but if you don’t have time to keep up with the latest on trading it, you can just buy and hold on to it so that in the next few years when cryptocurrency is a very common thing, your cryptocurrency is worth a whole lot more than what you paid for it. 


You can make money online through the biggest platforms on the internet like Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, and Twitter. On Youtube, for example, you can start generating money through the ads that Youtube runs on your videos. You and Youtube take a 50-50 split of the revenue from the ad running. All you have to do is create content that people enjoy. Once you gain a thousand subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time, you will be accepted into the Youtube partner program and can start earning money off your videos! This is just one example of making money via social media influencing, but you can actually use multiple ways such as sponsorships and brand deals to make money online in conjunction with your social media content.


Sites like Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, etc. are just some of the leading online store fonts where you can sell your physical products. There are a lot of people selling their own products and they source them cheaply from places like Alibaba or Aliexpress and sell them at a profit. You can also make your own products, and there are many people doing just that and selling well on Etsy. It’s really up to you what route or combination you’d like to take with physical products. But the possibilities are endless!

So there you have it – these are the 9 real ways to make money online. As a reminder, I went over just the highlights of each option. But hopefully, this list helps you gain clarity about which online money making strategy is the best fit for you. Trust me when I say, there is a lot more to look into with each of these methods. That’s why I say choose one that resonates most with you and lean into that option. Once you get going with one of these options, you’ll feel so accomplished that you’re taking action and working on making money online for yourself become a reality!