Abbey Slattery is a writer, editor, and pop culture aficionado. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and websites, but is most prolific on Twitter.
Making money online always sounds like a bit of a scam. Supplement my income without having to leave my house? Yeah, alright. But as we move into a more online-centric world, you might be surprised at the legitimate money-making opportunities that the internet has to offer—especially if you come prepared with some background experience on your resume.
In fact, many companies offer telecommuting options so you can work from home full-time.
Whether you’re looking to make a little bit of money quickly, or you’re looking for a consistent side hustle that has potential for full-time work, here are a few of the top online jobs to check out.
1. Put your services on Upwork
Using a platform like Upwork is of the most universal ways you can make money online. While freelance writing jobs are probably the easiest thing to find on Upwork, it’s far from all that the site has to offer. Graphic designers, UX designer, video producers, CPAs, legal advisors, and more—Upwork is a hub for tons of different professions, and it’s super easy to use.
If you think you have a skill set you could put to work, all you have to do is create a profile and start applying. You’ll need to know how to sell your expertise, how to write a cover letter, and what rate to charge based on your experience, and getting those first few jobs can be a little tricky. But don’t get discouraged—getting good reviews from completed jobs will give you a huge upper hand when applying!
2. Sell your products on Etsy
Need a creative outlet or a place to sell your work? Tons of small businesses got their start on Etsy, and it’s a great way to make some extra cash, since there’s a market for pretty much everything—from custom-made pillows to crocheted cacti to original books of poetry. Of course, some shops only sell three products a month, while some sell 700, but there are a lot of factors that can play into your sales.
Starting an Etsy shop is also pretty simple and completed 100% online—hence the appeal. All you have to do is pick a name for your shop, add items, prices, and pictures, and set up your billing method.
Read more: 51 Companies That Offer Telecommuting Jobs
3. Teach online
Did you know there are a wide variety of online teaching jobs—mainly focused on teaching Engligh as a Second Language (ESL)—that require a college degree but not a teaching license?
While the pay isn’t as consistent or as high as a teaching job in a physical location, you can still expect to make a decent amount of money (anywhere from $15 to $40 an hour) based on your experience. Many times the curriculum and hours are fixed, so it’s a steady and reliable option.
4. Become a YouTuber
If you have any experience with video editing and producing, then you should seriously look into starting a YouTube channel. The top earners on YouTube specialize in a variety of niches—including video game streamers, unboxing videos, personal vlogs, and makeup tutorials—and net millions of dollars per year. The YouTube user that makes the most per year? A seven-year-old kid who reviews toys.
While you probably won’t make millions during the first year, but growing your audience after a while could bring in money from ads, channel memberships, and brand deals.
Depending on your skillset, you could pick up consulting in anything from marketing and business to law and politics. Think you can help a business grow their follower count in one week? Know exactly which companies are worth investing in? Have a knack for helping small business stay in the green? Consulting is a great way to make those skills work for you.
It might take a little more work than other online jobs on the list, since you’ll need to make your own website, consider getting certified to build credibility, and build up a resume that backs up your expertise. But if you can jump through those hoops, consulting can not only grow your income, but can also help you make some valuable professional connections.
Just know: if you want to bring in the big bucks with consulting, you’re going to need to know how to network. Play your cards right, and you could turn consulting into a successful webinar series or public speaking circuit!
6. Nurse from home
Yeah, it sounds weird, but you read that right. If you have some sort of medical credentials—whether it’s an advanced nursing degree, an RN license, or an LPN—you have a surprising amount of options for making money online.
Have a passion for teaching? Check out a few online nursing faculty jobs. Want to write copy for manuals and test prep? See what sort of openings there are in freelance nurse writing. Other options include virtual clinical research associate, remote diabetic educator, and nursing evaluator.
7. Become an affiliate marketer
You know those influencers on Instagram that everybody loves to hate? A lot of them are involved in the affiliate marketing hustle, and the money is pretty good. Affiliate marketing is sort of like being sponsored by a company or product. You use your online platform—whether its a blog, a social media account (including that YouTube channel you started), or a personal website—and share it with your audience.
The company you’re working with will give you a special link for your followers to click, and when they make a purchase through that link, you’ll get a portion of the proceeds. It might sound like it’s tough to crack into, but there are actually a number of programs that offer opportunities for affiliate marketing—if your influence is up to snuff. You can even inquire with local small businesses and see what sort of deals they can offer you for a partnership!
Looking for a change of pace?
If you’re looking for side work as a way out of your current job, we can help. Use our company match tool to find workplaces that have the same priorities as you, and find a job you actually love.