The internet has provided people with near limitless sources of knowledge, you can learn anything online. From making tiny houses to learning how to code, the subjects are endless. It has also opened new opportunities for people to make money online.

Unfortunately, because of its unregulated nature, the internet has also become the home of outright scammers and unethical business practices.

In this post, I will provide 6 legitimate ways that you can make money online.

There are many ways to make money online and people are successful when they have a plan and stick to it. There is a myth in the online scene that to make money, you must invest a lot or as some say you have pay to play. This may be true in the offline world, if you were starting a traditional brick and mortar business, yes you would have to invest a lot.

However, this is not the case in the online world, you could start making money with little investment, yes it will take longer and require effort but it can be done.

Despite the claims of various marketing gurus (mostly digital MLM companies, see my article on them here) there is no get rich quick schemes out there unless you win the lottery or come into some large inheritance.

Below are some of the ways that you can start making money with little or no investment, no it will not make you a six-figure earner in 30 days or less, but stick to it and you’ll hopefully see the fruits of your efforts.

Affiliate Marketing

This is probably one of the best legitimate ways to make money online without having to shell out a fortune to start. Actually, could get started with less than $15 per month, to start an online business in affiliate marketing you just need a website,which will require you to purchase a domain name and hosting.

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, simply put it’s you promoting a company’s products or services and getting a commission if someone purchases. This can be done through your own website, blog, and e-mail.

Nearly all the biggest brands in the world run an affiliate programme that you can join and promote. Whatever your interest is, there is a high likelihood that a company runs an affiliate programme for it.

Unfortunately, there are marketers out there who promote MLM business’s disguised as affiliate marketing. Don’t fall for their BS, if they tell you must pay to promote them, it’s most likely a MLM scheme and you should steer well clear of them.

There are endless free resources on the internet on how to start an affiliate marketing business from scratch, however, many people can be overwhelmed by information overload and this can lead to procrastination. This is why following a training programme is highly recommended.

There are a lot of quality training on affiliate marketing both paid and free, I personally feel that Wealthy Affiliate provides the best training programme to start an affiliate marketing business.

To be honest, they provide way more than just training for affiliate marketing, they have courses for email marketing, PPC marketing (Google, Facebook and Bing), Video marketing, local SEO and much more. You can read my full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

There are other resources as well, below are some of the websites that have had positive reviews

eCommerce

The online retail world is booming and is set to grow exponentially over the next few years. When I first started thinking about running an online business, eCommerce was what I had in mind. The opportunities are endless and if done right, it’s very rewarding as well.

There are many avenues in eCommerce, one of the most popular ones is utilising Amazon’s FBA programme to sell your own products. I really wanted to start selling through Amazon FBA, unfortunately for me, you do need some start-up capital and so it wasn’t viable for me.

However, if you do have the resources then there are many great training programmes to start a successful business selling on Amazon. Here are some of the websites that will provide you further information.

If you don’t have enough capital to start a stock and ship eCommerce business, there is an alternative low-cost method called drop shipping.

For those of you who have not heard of dropshipping , it’s basically selling physical products without having to stock any inventory.

I have written an article on what dropshipping is and how to get started. It is by far the easiest way to start selling online.

The margins are much smaller in this method, usually, it’s between 10%-20%.

There are a variety of drop shipping courses on the internet, however, the most comprehensive one I have seen is the training provided by Store Coach. Run by three brothers who have over 15 years in the eCommerce world, storecoach.com has a free membership and a paid membership.

For a full review of the training provided by Store Coach click here.

eCommerce is growing fast and I have only listed some of the training available, there are others but also be aware there some of these courses require massive investment.

So, do your due diligence before signing up for any of the high-cost training courses that are now flooding the internet. And as always if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Provide a service

There are many avenues on the internet that will let you sell practically any service you may have expertise in. From writing eBooks to making people’s wishes come true (not kidding saw a gig on Fiverr that stated they can make people’s wishes come true), there is someone out there looking for a service that you can provide.

You can post your services on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer or even through your own website. If you don’t have expertise in any service, you can outsource it, what do I mean?

  • Make a list of services you would like to provide
  • Search for those services online, make a list of these service providers and look at the price they are charging.
  • Choose the best ones that fit your needs, and list those services on your website or any other freelance sites. Make sure to price them a little (or a lot, up to you) higher than what you will pay.
  • When someone orders, you place an order to any of the chosen service providers on your list.
  • You deliver the end service and keep the difference between what your customers paid and what you paid the service providers.

Of course, that is just a very basic overview, there is more work involved but providing services that are high in demand can be very rewarding.

So, what are some of these services that will always be in demand? Below is a small list in which I personally think will be evergreen, people will always want these services.

  • SEO – Search engine optimisation, link building
  • Web design
  • Graphics and Design – Logos, Banners etc.
  • Video creation/editing
  • Writing – Ebooks, Content, Blog posts etc.

There are other services you can provide such as SMM (Social Media Marketing), teaching PPC, providing lead generation etc. However, the ones mentioned above seem to be in great demand.

Mobile apps

The graph below shows the estimated growth for mobile apps by the year 2020 to be around $188.9 billion dollars. This is a good time to start a mobile app business.

Mobile app revenue forecast

There seems to apps popping up for everything, the mobile app industry is estimated to be worth over $100billion by the end of 2020. The good thing is, you don’t even have to be a developer to create an app. There are courses that have eliminated all the hard coding required for an app and made app creation simple.

Of course, Apple and Google dominate the app scene, 88% of smartphones sold in the final quarter of 2016 were powered by Google’s android operating system while Apple managed to get 11% of the market.

According to statista.com, the following categories are the most popular for app creation

  1. Tools
  2. Communication
  3. Video players
  4. Travel
  5. Social
  6. Productivity
  7. Music
  8. Entertainment
  9. News and Magazines
  10. Books and References

There are a lot of websites that allow you to build apps without coding, if however, you want to build Apps from scratch with coding, then I suggest you check out the variety of courses available on Udemy and Lynda.com.

If you can’t think of what kind of app to create, then go to this brilliant website, where you will see app ideas from people around the globe.

Like I mentioned you can also build mobile apps with zero coding experience required. Similar to how anyone can now build beautiful websites without any knowledge of HTML, CSS and PHP, there are many platforms that will let you build complex apps without much effort.

Here are some of the most popular app builders that require little coding skills. Drag and drop app builders are fairly new and so some may not have a lot of functionality. It’s still fun to play around with and develop your skills.

  • Appinstitute – One of the largest app developers in the UK, powerful drag and drop builder and offer a diverse range of templates for different industries.
  • GoodBarberDon’t know who thought up the name, this is probably the most powerful app builder. Has very advanced features and their monthly price plan is competitive. If you don’t want to build apps, they provide a reseller service, so you can market their products as your own. 
  • Mobincube – The app builder for everyone, they have a free plan to build your app. It has some powerful features and their interface is very intuitive and easy to use. There are two ways to monetise your apps through mobincube, in app ads and their own affiliate programme.
  • ibuildapp Offers a wide vareity of tools and features to create any kind of app. Has over 144 templates you can choose from covering all the industries. Has three price plans from a solo developer to large corporations. Lists Unilever, SEGA and UCLA amongst others as its clients.

Start A blog

Running a successful blog is exhausting and time-consuming, however, if you do it for something you feel passionate about, it can be rewarding. There are a variety of resources teaching you to build a successful blog, but it’s all about starting somewhere.

We have all seen how some of the best marketers in the world have brilliant blogs from Neil Patel’s quicksprout.com to Brian Deans backlinko.com, these blogs draw in millions of visitors each month and they provide a tonne of information.

Some tips to start a blog

  • Choose a niche, shouldn’t be too competitive
  • Define an audience
  • Write in-depth valuable content
  • Engage your audience
  • Do not just rely on Google for traffic, diversify.
  • Monetise through affiliate links or advertisements

Few resources on running a successful blog

Of course, there are many ways to monetise your blog, you can sell your own digital products like PDF guides, ebooks, online courses, or through affiliate links and advertisements.

Start A YouTube Channel

Yup, if you haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade, you should know the video sharing platform that is YouTube, has produced thousands of successful entrepreneurs. Until just recently, one of their most successful artists was a YouTuber named pewdewpie who became a millionaire by just playing video games.

Not only is YouTube used as a medium for entertainment but also for news, learning new skills, interacting with people from around the world. Just like a blog, you need to engage your audience and provide them with value for their time.

You don’t even have to show yourself if you are not confident in front of a camera.  There are video editing software tools that will let you make all sorts of video that will not require you to be on screen.

Here are some ideas to get you started

  • Video walkthrough tutorials
  • Product Reviews
  • Reviewing Films, TV shows etc.
  • Your take on the latest news and gossip
  • Doing challenges
  • Interviewing people in your niche
  • Covering sports related events and news
  • Weird news

There are many other categories but the above should give you an idea of what you can offer on YouTube. You can monetise your channel through affiliate links, advertisements or selling your own products.  YouTube also provides one of the best sources of free traffic for your website or blog.

YouTube also provides one of the best sources of free traffic for your website or blog.

Summary

There are many more ways to make a good income online, I have just mentioned the most popular methods. So many people are making good money with the methods mentioned. You just need to act and not be deterred if things do not go your way quickly. Treat it as a real business and always be looking to learn new ways of doing things.

Also, please don’t jump from one opportunity to another, find something, stick with it and make it work. And be aware of schemes that promise you the world, there are no successful get rich quick schemes, only unethical marketers looking to make a quick buck from your enthusiasm.

My personal recommendation to start an online business is affiliate marketing and the best training available is from Wealthy Affiliate.

If you feel I have missed out on a legitimate way of making money online, please let me know by leaving a comment or even if you disagree with what I have to say, leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.