How to Make a Living Online – 7 Excellent Ways to Get Started in 2018

Steve Allen

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably searched how to make money online at least once before?

We are living in the digital age where starting an online business has become the norm for many people.

I for one knew after working several “jobs” in my teens, that it wouldn’t be my main source of income forever.

This was a good 14 years ago though and soon started doing my own searches for answers.

Fast forward to today and things have progressed a bit. Today is easier than ever to make some extra income on the side and extremely possible to make a business out of it.

Here are 7 ways you can make a living online.

1. Turn Your Skills Into an Online Business

Do you play a musical instrument or maybe you have a knack with a paintbrush?

Whatever your skill, there is a plethora of ways to make some side income on the internet and possibly even turn it into an online business.

If you’re just starting out, you could create a free profile at where you select your teaching subject, set your prices and availability and students find you through the platform.

You can set up local lessons and teach people face to face or you can teach people over the internet, giving you a much wider audience and flexibility for your students.

What if you’re an exceptional painter or just like making things with your hands?

A great option for the creative individuals is to sell your creations on Etsy.

Etsy has been around for years and now has over 33 million buyers. It’s like eBay but for people selling things that they’ve design or make themselves.

Sign up for free and list your items in your Etsy shop. Your only limit is your imagination.

2. Create an Online Course

Carrying on with the skills theme, if you’ve tried any of the above before or feel like you can tackle a bigger project, creating an online course could be your best option for making a living online.

Online courses are growing at an exponential rate in 2018 thanks to online marketplaces such as SkillShare and Udemy.

There are also other, more in-house options where you can sell courses from your own website. I have personal experience using such platforms as LearnDash for clients and projects of my own.

LearnDash is a WordPress plugin where you host and sell your online course from your own website.

If you’d prefer a more hands off approach though, Udemy or SkillShare are a great place to start.

You create your account, structure your course and upload your course videos to the platform. These platforms will even market your course for you if this is an area you prefer not to focus on.

3. Write a Book

Do you know how to write?

Writing a book may sound hard but these days it has become much easier.

Self publishing has been made possible through Amazon. Whether you want to teach people what you know or write your first novel, Amazon gives you the ability to publish your book through Kindle, print or audiobook.

Website’s such as Self-Publishing School and are great resources to learn more about self publishing your book.

4. Turn Your Offline Business into an Online Business

Are you a carpenter by trade? Or maybe barber? Or a chef?

These and many other professions are starting to see massive exposure on the internet these days.

Through social media site such as YouTube or Instagram, building a following of your work to promote your business is a wise move in 2018.

But it’s also possible to build a following on these platforms and make money as a seperate source of income.

YouTube has it’s own free course on how to monetise a YouTube channel.

Whether your profession involves cutting wood, cutting hair or cutting carrots, creating some videos whilst you’re at work and then posting them on YouTube could be the start of a whole new career.

A good example of this is James with his channel PlumberParts. James has built a huge following on YouTube and other social media site with his how-to plumbing videos. He also has a website where he sells merchandise like t-shirts and beanies.

It’s safe to say, this chap is making a killing online which is completely separate to his offline plumbing business.

5. Provide a Service to a Niche Market

There’s a buzz word that’s been going around for several years now, you may have heard of it?

Digital Nomad

This buzz word has gained even more traction in recent years thanks to social media and the growth of job sites such as Upwork.

If you’re new to this world of work and can see yourself as a digital freelancer, the concept is simple.

You join one of many freelancing websites, list your skills and bid on people searching for work that you’re qualified to do.

Here’s just a few service based job sites you can offer your services on:

  1. Upwork
  2. Fiverr
  3. Freelancer
  4. TextBroker
  5. iWriter

If you’ve developed any skills like writing, web design, social media marketing and build up a portfolio of work, it’s possible to do very well on these platforms.

You can even offer consulting services if your in this line of work offline, (e.g. financial advisor or legal consultant) why not offer your expertise online and turn it into recurring income.

You never know, one day you may find yourself making more online than you are offline being able to live the digital nomad lifestyle for yourself.

6. Sell a Product

Similar to selling a product on Etsy, instead of selling something you make yourself, you have a product developed and manufactured at scale so you’re able to sell them off in the thousands on platforms like Amazon.

This might sound like a daunting task but thanks to the internet, creating your own brand and selling products online has never been easier.

A downside to this business model unlike some of the others on this list is the initial upfront investment needed.

You don’t necessarily need to invest thousands starting out though. That’s thanks to wholesale site

Alibaba is a huge directory and marketplace of Chinese manufacturers who list and sell their products in bulk to buyers who want to resell them on their own websites or retail sites like Amazon.

Amazon FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) is a great starting point as once you’ve chosen your product on Alibaba, found the right manufacturer and placed your first shipment, you have your products sent to an Amazon warehouse where Amazon staff then do all the leg work.

As the name suggests, Amazon fulfill the orders. From boxing them up when they arrive to delivering them to customers and even handling refunds.

It takes out the work of fulfilling orders yourself so you can focus on marketing your products and reordering when stock gets low.

Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits started his Amazon FBA business in March 2015 which started generating $40,000+ in sales per month after just 6 months into the business.

He then went on to sell the business for $425,000!

This story is an amazing one as he started this business venture with no knowledge just 2.5 years before he sold it. You can read about his success which this business model on his blog where he documented the whole process.

7. Start a Blog

When you think of a blogger, what comes to mind?

Someone who writes about their life and takes pictures of their food?

Yes, blogs come in all shapes and sizes. Some people create blogs about themselves and do very well but these days, the most successful blogs are teaching people something.

If you have a lot of knowledge on a particular subject or even if you’re super interested in learning something new, you could blog about it and quite possibly make a living out of it.

Alex and Lauren make crazy amounts with their health blog and share everything they learn on their other blog Create and Go.

The idea here is to create valuable blog posts that people will love and share with their friends and family. You can make money through a number of ways but the most common is with affiliate marketing.

If none of the above ways to make a living online interest you then you have the option of promoting other companies products. You simply share your opinion and expertise in quality content and recommend products to people to help them achieve their goal.

When your visitors click on your affiliate links and buy these products, you gain yourself a commission.

If you’re serious about it, you can incorporate some of the other tips on this page into your blog.

For instance, Alex and Lauren sell a Yoga course and created their own supplements brand. They provide valuable content which build trust with their audience which is the key components of building a successful blog.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this post useful. The ideas are just some of the many ways to earn a living on the internet. The big question is, which one is right for you?

Whichever one you choose, they all involve providing people with value so if you can start something that helps people and their life in some way then you will be successful.

Good luck!

Steve Allen

Content Marketer
Steve is the guy behind Coffee Shop Blogger where he shares his passion for WordPress tech, digital marketing and smart ways to grow an online business.

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