The 6 Best Ways To Make Money Online
Without Working a Boring 9 to 5

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using affiliate links, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

There are dozens of ways to make money online, but the problem often is finding the perfect one that suits you. Since you are reading this guide, you have probably spent some time in the corporate world or worked a regular day job.
Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong about working a day job.

However, putting in the hours can get insanely repetitive and boring. From my experience, the first few years in the corporate scene helped establish a routine and instill stability. Likewise, my time there also taught me valuable skills that I can use in almost any field.

But the rose-colored glasses quickly wear off, and I got to thinking there’s undoubtedly more to life than working from 9 to 5, or 9 to 9…seven days a week. If you have thought the same way, you have come to the right place. With various techniques can use to earn money in the digital world, I have listed the six best options.

I will also go over the possible challenges you may encounter and tools to increase sales in the online money-making business.

Why Should You Make Money Online?

So why you should make the switch to an online business? There are several reasons to do so:

You have a lower start-up cost than putting up a physical retail business.

Most physical businesses require a ton of capital. Start-up expenses usually include the cost of renting or buying space, electricity, and other bills, and even employee wages and benefits. If you have to pay for a custom domain name and web hosting services, the total amount will cost way less than a monthly rental.

You have unlimited income potential.

People built online businesses on systems. Once you understand what works and does not work for you, you can easily modify your techniques to increase your income substantially. Compared to a typical day job, you will not have to worry much about prejudice, contract negotiations, wage cuts, glass ceilings, and wage freezes.

When you start working online, you will undoubtedly have to do a lot of hard work to familiarize yourself with it. However, there will come the point where you do not have to spend hours every day. 
You can use tools and software to automate some processes while outsourcing others can also help you grow your businesses. For example, you can hire freelancers to write your web content or a virtual assistant to manage your social media pages.

You can work anywhere in the world.

With an online business, it does not matter where you work as long as you have your computer and an Internet connection. In a regular job, you would have to stay around your location to manage the business. But the online business allows you to travel and go to other places while working!

You are building an asset

If a physical business does well enough, owners can sell it to other people too. The same happens to online companies as well. If you ever reach the moment you decide to sell your business, you can always start over with a new one.

You have a global audience.

A traditional business has limitations in geography, as your targeted market is only a specified location. With an online store, you can offer your products and services on an international scale. The lowering costs and popularity of logistics providers also assist in spreading your business worldwide.

Best Ways To Make Money Online

A quick exploration of the Internet will show you numerous ways to earn money through various online platforms and opportunities. What makes this guide different is the depth of information you can obtain regarding these methods. I will focus on six specific business models that you can start for your online venture.

Affiliate Marketing



Amazon FBA


Multi-level Marketing

Do one or two methods ring any bells? Most of these systems have been around for years, which means the time has tested these methods. However, some of them, like multi-level marketing, did not start as an online business. Let us look at each of them in detail.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a method of revenue sharing by promoting products or services of other individuals or companies. Four years after the beginning of the World Wide Web, an American entrepreneur named William Tobin was the mastermind behind affiliate marketing in 1996.

A crowd-funding platform, the Prodigy Network, housed his online business, PC Flowers & Gifts, in 1994. When Tobin launched a commercial site of his own in 1995, he came up with a way to direct customers to his platform using advertising on other websites. The business had over 2,600 affiliate partners by then.

Business woman working as an affiliate on different online channels to earn money
William Tobin was the mastermind behind affiliate marketing

Tobin applied for a patent soon after, with other businesses like following his example of affiliate marketing.

Compensation Methods

This business model has several compensation methods that companies can choose from, so you must read through each affiliate program’s fine print. The most common methods are pay per sale, cost per action, cost per click, and cost per mille.

  • Pay per sale – This pricing system is the most common method for affiliate marketing. The website owner receives compensation for every sale generated from his advertisement. Roughly 80 percent of programs use this payment scheme.
  • Cost per action – In contrast to PPS, this pricing model requires the advertiser to pay for the number of acts committed by consumers on the publisher’s website. The action usually refers to a sale, form submit or click. Roughly 19 percent of programs use this payment scheme.
  • Cost per click – This advertising model often relates to first-tier search engines like Google and Microsoft/Bing. The business owner pays the publisher when visitors click an ad on the latter’s platform.
  • Cost per mille – The French word mille means thousand. In this advertising model, the business owner pays the publisher for everyone thousand views or clicks of an advertisement.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, like CPA, which favors the advertiser more than the publisher. This detail reinforces the fact that you must extensively read through the affiliate program’s mechanics before signing up.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

If you want to make money online, affiliate marketing tops the list. This advertising model has numerous benefits, whether you are the advertiser or the publisher. Here are the primary advantages of this online business from the advertiser’s perspective:
  • The advertiser pays compensation based on performance.
  • The advertiser reaches a broader audience.
  • This method is cost-effective.
  • The advertiser receives traffic and sales without spending a lot of time.

On the flip side, the publisher or affiliate receives specific benefits, too.

  • The affiliate does not have to make a sizeable investment.
  • The publisher does not need to worry about inventory, customer support, or other product concerns.
  • Once the affiliate has set up the program, it becomes a form of passive income.

Put this way; it sounds like a win-win situation.

2. Dropshipping

Dropshipping business model is similar to a classic online retail business, with the primary difference in not having to hold stock. So, you have an online retail store, but instead of storing the physical products in your space or warehouse, you direct the customer’s orders to a manufacturer.

Though the phrase itself is relatively new, the concept of dropshipping started way back, even before the rise of the Internet. Mail-order companies like JCPenney, Sears, and CompuCard came up with the idea in the 60s and 70s until the process evolved to the dropshipping business you know now.

With the advent of the Internet, these mail-order companies became e-commerce stores. Massive online stores like Amazon and eBay led the way in revolutionizing the business, and the 21st century saw the appearance of other platforms like AliDropship, Shopify, and Oberlo.

Man wearing mask delivers dropship products from an online business
storing the physical products in your space

Key Players

To have a more comprehensive understanding of this business model, you need to know the different players in the dropshipping industry. Like how every person has a specific role in a basketball team, the same goes for any business scheme.

The Manufacturer:

Also known as supplier, wholesaler, or distributor; this player has a critical role in the dropshipping model. These companies are in charge of creating, packaging, and shipping the products to customers. Since they practice mass production of merchandise, the manufacturers sell the products at a low cost.

The Retailer:

This player is in charge of putting up the online store and attracting customers. Unless you have the equipment and resources to produce many items, most individuals enter the dropshipping business as a retailer.

The Customer:

This player has no direct role in supply chain management, but customers keep both companies running. If there is no market for the product, the other players will not have a means of earning money.

Advantages of the Dropshipping Business

The primary benefit of this business model to retailers is the lack of start-up costs. Since you outsource the production of goods, you do not have to spend a ton of money purchasing equipment. Here are the other advantages of the dropshipping business:

  • There is no risk of unsold items.
  • You can virtually work anywhere
  • You have infinite inventory.
  • It allows for greater product flexibility.
  • You spend less time and money on order fulfillment.

Many find dropshipping a lucrative online venture, but there are more steps involved than creating an online store. You can read my thorough guide on the dropshipping business to discover how you can start this business and the best platforms you can use.

3. E-commerce

I have touched briefly on the concept of e-commerce in the previous section. I am positive you or someone you know has tried purchasing a product online, and that action is already a part of the massive e-commerce industry.

The act of shopping on the Internet lets you know the numerous possibilities that the e-commerce industry offers to merchants. If you desire to make a hefty amount of money online, you have to be on the other side of the spectrum.

E-commerce became possible with the commercial launch of the Internet in 1991. However, the industry took several years to take off due to concerns about security protocols and electronic payment transactions.
By 2000, businesses in the United States and Europe have put their services on the web. Some of the most popular Internet retailers are Amazon, Dell, Office Depot, and Hewlett-Packard.

investing on ecommerce using credit card for lucrative purposes
If you desire to make money online

Four Categories

People classify this business through the type of transactions made and the types of goods sold. Let me give you a brief overview.

  • Business to Business – This category refers to established companies doing business with one another. An example is manufacturers contracting with distributors to sell their products in a specific region.
  • Business to Consumer – In this model, companies directly sell their products to consumers without intermediaries. An example is Dell or Hewlett-Packard selling their computers or laptops on their websites.
  • Consumer to Business – This method reverses the traditional commerce model of business providing services. Instead, skilled individuals offer their services to companies for various transactions like graphic design, video editing, etc.
  • Consumer to Consumer – In this model, individuals sell items or merchandise to other consumers through a third-party website. With nearly everyone’s accessibility to the Internet, this method has quickly become popular.

Advantages of E-commerce

Many people and companies have put their businesses on the Internet, which shows how e-commerce is an excellent way to earn higher income. Here are some of the advantages of participating in the e-commerce industry.

  • Creating an online store is less expensive than building a physical one.
  • It has excellent flexibility and speed in terms of management.
  • You can track and analyze the customers’ buying habits.
  • tools and software can automate processes like inventory management.
  • Marketing is quick and more affordable.
  • You do not have geographical limitations.

E-commerce has grown at an unprecedented rate in the past two decades, and it does not show any signs of stopping. 

You can learn more through my new course Digital Mastery Business Blueprint. I have shared my best practices that would help you start up your online business the right way.

4. Amazon FBA

Concerning the e-commerce industry, creating an Amazon FBA business is another way to generate a good amount of income. Fulfillment by Amazon lets you sell your products through its website. 

You take care of the product research and manufacturing then send the merchandise to fulfillment centers worldwide. Those locations will then handle packaging and shipping for the customers.

Amazon FBA as one of the best ways to get money online
take care of the product research and manufacturing

How You Can Sell on Amazon

With how massive and well-known the company is, you would think individuals will have difficulty signing up. Although Amazon has stringent standards when it comes to packing products, you can become a seller.

  • Register as an Amazon seller.
  • Prepare items to send to Amazon’s warehouses.
  • Assign inventory to FBA.
  • Create a shipment to Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
  • Send and track your delivery.

Advantages of Amazon FBA

Attaching your retail business to a well-known brand like Amazon has several benefits. One of the primary advantages is the more extensive customer base. Here are its other benefits:

  • IT GIVES YOU enough time to focus on your business.
  • You can quickly scale your business.
  • AMAZON ALREADY COMES WITH a concrete returns policy.
  • You no longer have to fret over customer service.
  • You can sell your Amazon FBA products on other channels.

Amazon is one of the biggest global companies, and its marketplace is well-known worldwide. But you also have to avoid the #1 mistake most Amazon FBA sellers do, learn more about how to avoid it.

5. Blogging

Blogging started in the late 1990s and has since become a well-known platform where individuals can reach thousands of people. People have various reasons for starting a blog, the most popular of which is to generate an income. 

Other motives may be inspiring an audience, learning new skills, and building an online brand.

Blogging using a personal laptop to make money online
inspiring an audience, learning new skills

How To Create a Blog

Coming up with content is one of the most challenging parts of creating a blog. Since most markets are already full of bloggers, it may be tricky trying to penetrate a niche. Here are the actions you should follow when creating your blog.

  • Choose a blog platform.
  • Choose a web host for your blog.
  • Design your new blog.

Advantages of Blogging

Blogging has a host of benefits regardless of your reason for starting it. Most online companies have a blog to advance their online business. Here are some benefits of this activity:

  • Get more clients to your existing business.
  • Learn more about a group of people.
  • Gain influence and authority in a specific niche.
  • Build a network.
  • Learn in-demand skills.
  • Stay knowledgeable in your field.

Blogging opens a lot of possibilities, whether you do it for yourself or a business.

6. Multi-level Marketing or Network Marketing

The concept of multi-level marketing started decades back, but it has recently become a popular way to get rich fast. It is a form of direct selling, but individuals can gain more funds by recruiting another person as a downline.

Not everyone is a good fit for sales, but MLM companies usually provide training and support to help their distributors understand the business’s ins and outs. With the hundreds of companies following this marketing model, you must do proper research to join a legitimate MLM company

Studying MLM or networking for high income
it has recently become a popular way to make money online

How To Make Money Online With MLM?

With the conversion of the traditional MLM model to the Internet, people can make money in various ways. Here are the measures to follow to ensure your MLM business becomes a lucrative venture:

  • Look for a stable company.
  • Find unique and usable products.
  • Research on the compensation plan.
  • Learn recruitment strategies.
  • Take advantage of social media networks.

Advantages of Multi-level Marketing

This marketing model has gained a bad reputation because of the incorrect practices of some companies. However, the MLM business is beneficial for a few reasons:

  • There is only a small amount of risk involved.
  • There is a massive demand for high-quality products.
  • MLM is a form of passive income.
  • This business model has excellent income potential.
  • You do not need to hire employees.
  • It has low operating costs.

You have probably heard a lot of things about MLM or network marketing. But it has remained a popular model throughout the years for a reason.

Challenges of Making Money Online

I have listed numerous advantages for choosing any of the six online money-making models but working online has its share of challenges. Though you have a lot of flexibility in terms of time and funding, the ways to make money online are not fool proof.

None of these business models are get-rich-quick systems, which only enforce their legitimacy. Often, businesses that give such promises are either illegitimate or unsustainable.

My advice is to welcome these challenges and prepare for them. Here, I have listed some of the typical obstacles people face when they shift to the online money-making industry.

The challenges of making money online
the ways to make money online are not fool proof

Too Much Information

When the online industry started way back, people did not have any concrete process to follow in setting up their business. They had to experiment and figure things out by themselves. 

Now, you will find numerous experts with their tutorials. The problem is no longer about finding adequate resources, but rather having too many of them. The more information you have, the more confusing things become.

If you are a beginner starting your online business, it will be challenging to decide which information is right. The first step to solving information overload is to determine the type of information you need. You have to become specific during your research to identify the kind of information you want.

Here is something I wrote for 9 killer marketing strategies to launch your next online business, you can check it our right here.

Too many questions and info available about earning money online

How To Start, Grow And Scale a Successful Online Business?

My Ultimate guide reveals the 3 secret pillars on how to start a successful online business. One of the primary problems my guide solves is simplifying the path from start to finish.

What does this mean?

You can stop piecing together strategies gathered across the web. Instead, you can use my guide – using the same strategies successful businesses are using today to achieve success.

You will learn how to start your online business the right way from the get-go

  1. What You Must Become Before Starting
  2. #1 Thing Holding Back New Entrepreneurs
  3. A to Z Guide To Marketing Strategies Working Today
  4. And much more
avoiding fraud and scams while making money online

Online Scams

Scams are the most prevalent problem of online business, as the people behind them never run out of ideas. Spotting fraudulent activities takes practice. But encountering scammers on your first venture is discouraging. Here are some red flags you have to keep in mind:

    • Promises of quick returns
    • Disclosing “secret” information after making a payment
    • Hidden auto-renewal policy
    • Missing contact information
Regrettably, there is no surefire way to prevent scammers from the online industry. The best thing you can do is raise your guard against possible unscrupulous practices that aim to steal from your business.

Lack of Discipline

Once you put up an online business, you automatically become the boss. This detail means you get to decide what to do in most aspects of your venture. 

This flexibility is a dream come true for most individuals, but it comes with a hefty price: discipline. If you give yourself too much freedom, you may fall into the danger of procrastination.
This bad habit results in diminished productivity and performance. It can even affect your emotional well-being and eventually keep you in its trappings.

Most people procrastinate because they get overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. An excellent solution is to break down this massive task into smaller ones. Doing so will improve your perception and motivate you to work on completing these assignments.

staying ahead of the competition to gain the best sales and profit
entrepreneur and business gurus meeting on ways for startup businesses to earn through online ventures

Lengthy Setup

So, you already have all these ideas to make money online, and you are excited to make your first sale. However, a few steps into the planning phase will let you know that you have to complete a lengthy setup to get your online business up and running. The process is undoubtedly shorter than putting up a physical store, but there are still many details to fill in, like a branding, domain name, site platform, web hosting, marketing planning, etc. The duration varies depending on the type of online business you plan.

The optimal way to tackle this roadblock is awareness. Proper setup of your business is essential to its smooth operation. If you rush this process, you may overlook one segment that can potentially harm your online venture.

You can learn more through my new course Digital Mastery Business Blueprint. I have shared my best practices that would help you start up your online business the right way.

For example, you skipped out on obtaining a security certificate for your website as you run an informational blog with no need for visitor’s financial details. If your platform gets breached or hacked, evildoers may still obtain sensitive information like your subscribers’ names and e-mail addresses.

Lack of a Support Team

People who venture into the Internet to earn a living often find that it is a solitary endeavor. Even if your spouse, partner, or kids provide moral support, they rarely have the knowledge or expertise to assist you.

From planning to evaluation, you may find yourself doing everything on your own. Although this reality appears painful, it usually happens in the initial stages of putting up a business.

However, gone are the days when you have to experiment and do all the heavy lifting. You will find a robust information and lively community online, regardless of the industry or niche you select.

9 to 5 people thinking of ways to make money virtually and escape the employed life

Search for people who have gone through the same process. Some websites will require you to pay a specific amount to learn information, but there are other, more cost-effective platforms. You may start your online journey as the boss and employee, but sooner or later, you will form relationships that will improve your business and even your attitude and personality.

Marketing Tools for Your Online Business

Congratulations on making it this far! The last section of this guide deals with marketing tools you can use to earn money virtually. Regardless of the business model you select, these applications will significantly build your online brand and increase your customer base.

Before I proceed, let me outline several points why you have to utilize marketing for your online business.

  • MARKETING is an effective way to engage customers.
  • It builds and maintains your business’s reputation.
  • It forms a relationship between the company and its customers.
  • THe APPROACH SERVES AS a communication channel to inform your customers.
  • MARKETING boosts product sales.
  • It provides useful insights into your business.
  • It keeps your business relevant in the industry.
  • It creates a new market for more revenue.

If done right, marketing has all these positive benefits. One method I would warn you about is using multiple marketing strategies all at the same time. 
Doing so will prevent you from determining which method was most efficient in reaching your desired goal. My advice is always to start small and experiment with your options. Here are some marketing tools to help your business grow.

Your online business process usually starts with a research or planning phase. And one of the best ways to secure customer feedback is SurveyMonkey.

This free tool will collect consumer information and secure substantial insights for your online business. The application has a user-friendly interface that will let you create a business survey in a few minutes.

answering surveys to make money

Office meeting rooms with glass walls having too many colorful sticky notes

The use of multiple tools and systems makes marketing a complex activity, but this tool will help in the organization of ideas. You can store your inspirations, business trends, and other relevant information in one location.

Plus, you can access Evernote on almost any device to facilitate your research and brainstorming processes.

Did you know that there are nearly 4 billion e-mail users worldwide? Experts say the number will rise to 4.3 billion in 2023. Plus, welcome e-mails can increase your business’s revenue by 320 percent.

E-mail marketing has been one of the oldest forms of advertising in the e-commerce industry, and these numbers reinforce the fact that it is here to stay. When it comes to technology, one of your best options is Aweber.

Its primary benefit is its free plan, as the package allows nearly 500 subscribers, everything you need to grow your business with email marketing – no time restrictions. Aweber is perfect for beginners who are only starting to build their list. Once your list grows, you can get the pro plan at a competitive price.

at sign on sand indicating potential to manage businesses and earn money online while on vacation

Studying SEO to maximize the earning potential of a website

If you are looking for all-in-one marketing software, you cannot go wrong with HubSpot. This tool will help you with numerous aspects, such as SEO, lead management, marketing automation, and analytics.

As it already handles several segments of building your business, you will not have to worry about the necessary details for starting. Once you have gained more experience with building your business, you can undoubtedly obtain additional tools to supplement HubSpot’s assistance.

By this time, I do not think anybody can still underestimate the power of social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram play an integral role in the success of any business; they are no longer options but necessities.

Hootsuite will enable you to manage more than 30 platforms, as it acts as a social media marketing manager. Features include scheduling posts in advance, identifying influencers and leads, utilizing pre-written responses, and replying to messages from one dashboard.

utilizing social media to make money online

Utilizing google analytics to check monetization opportunities and track traffic sources

You cannot fully experience all of marketing’s benefits without tracking the results of your efforts. Google Analytics only takes a few minutes to set up, and most of all, it is free.

Some people only consider it a traffic tool, but this plugin can provide useful information to modify your marketing strategy. For example, seeing where your traffic comes from will help you adjust your future techniques.

When it comes to content, Canva will help you appeal to your audience through custom illustrations and infographics. This tool is by no means original, but it is one of the most intuitive with drag and drop functionalities.

You do not have to be a graphic designer, as the application provides free templates from flyers and brochures to social media images. The best thing about Canva is the free version, which already gives you a lot of design features.

creating beautiful drafts for online jobs and projects with canva

Money earned using powerful time-saving tools

When you start a business as a major stream of income, your strategy should include research on your desired product and potential competitors. This software will teach you more about the market you intend to penetrate.

BuzzSumo is an excellent application for understanding your competition. It also helps you determine the content that performs best with audiences and search engines. Its search results generate high-level data that will come in handy for creating your blog content.

Let us set the quirky name aside; this tool will help you determine what parts work and what sections do not on your website. You can use this application to make platform changes for better results.

Crazy Egg does not require much technical skill to use, which is perfect for beginners. Its features include heat maps and mouse recording, analysis, and reporting, targeting and personalization, and research and user feedback. All these attributes will help you understand what visitors do and do not like, which will eventually maximize your sales and leads.

crazy egg for SEO

Now that we have come to this guide’s conclusion, I sincerely hope you found all this information helpful. You do not have to let go of your full-time job immediately after deciding on a business.

These models require a healthy bit of planning, so it may take some time to make money online. Once your business has fully taken off the ground, feel free to let go of your other responsibilities.

Conversely, you may choose to keep your online business as a side-job. Only remember that new ventures may take a lot of time and effort, critical for their success. If you cannot commit sufficient time for this new endeavor, it would be best to save it later.

People have various strengths and weaknesses, so do not be discouraged if one does not work out for you right away. Instead, keep trying. I believe that determination can go a long way to building your business. Use all these resources to start your online business, and the rest is up to you.

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