How to Make Money Online for Beginners [2024] Best Ways and My Personal Experience

Here’s how to make money online for beginners. Each year, consumers spend $1.1 trillion dollars online with US businesses.1 Yes, trillion!

That doesn’t even count how much money online businesses make by showing advertisements to you.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been making money online since 1999. Yeah, I’m as old as dirt, but it’s a finely-aged dirt! I was a beginner too. And I’ll reveal all the money-making secrets – and mistakes – I made along the way.

What’s awesome is that being able to make money online has enabled me to work while traveling to over 25 countries. I work from home or from wherever I want. I want YOU to experience that same freedom!

Be your own boss, make your own schedule, and feel proud of your accomplishments when you learn how to make money online.

How to Make Money Online for Beginners 

Build and Sell Blogs

What You Need to Get Started: Knowledge of a topic 

I know three different people who made millions of dollars with the first or second blog they ever created. One was a travel blogger, another blogged about side hustles, and the third was a personal finance blog.

The travel blogger sold the blog to a corporation and retired before age 40. The personal finance blogger sold his blog for $6 million dollars.

None of these people majored in blogging! None are outstanding writers. Each blogger is passionate about their topic and genuinely wants to help people.

Now THIS is how to make money online for beginners!

My strong recommendation is to create a WordPress blog. Use managed WordPress hosting (affordable and worth it, I use it). Get your blog on one of the best web hosting services so it loads fast.

You can either pay someone to code your website, or use a drag and drop no-code editor. Here is the best website builder, depending on your situation.

A blog is an outstanding way how to make 10k a month.

I suggest getting Grammarly. It’s like having an editor check your work. I use Grammarly, and it’s a great start, especially if you’re hesitant about your editing skills!

Talking about beginners, I did consulting work for an absolute beginner blogger. He was a gym teacher trying to make money online on the side. Now he’s so successful as a blogger he quit his public school teaching job and is traveling the world while blogging!

The more specific your knowledge, the better. For example, my blog is about how to make money online for beginners. 

My blog is NOT about how to make money in any business whatsoever, such as a pizza restaurant, or a surfboard repair shop, or some random topic like how I once trained my hamster to ride a repaired surfboard in the bathtub while chomping on a slice of pizza.

Though that was a fun time.

ProsCons
Sharing your knowledge is cool.This isn’t for completely lazy idiots. You’ll have to put a lot of time and effort into building your blog, especially at the beginning.
Helping others is a cool way to make money online.This is NOT passive income (few things really are.) You’ll need to create content or have someone create content for you in order to make that sweet online cash.
It’s pretty inexpensive to start a blog to make money online.
It’s proven that beginners can make money online with a blog. I personally know 3 people who’ve made millions of dollars with this exact business model while being beginners.

Publish an Email Newsletter

What You Need to Get Started: Passion for a topic, ability to email

There’s a popular and awesome email newsletter called Going that tells you about cheap flights. The email newsletter makes money by charging people for a monthly subscription.

It started as a hobby for the owner, Scott Keyes, but then the newsletter went from 300 subscribers to 5,000 subscribers after it went viral! 

Today, this email newsletter continues to grow and is a great business with 50 employees. The owner of the newsletter has been interviewed on TV because he’s an expert in his field.

You can make money online as a beginner with an email newsletter, just like Scott Keyes did!

I personally know people who make money online with their email newsletter by

  • Recommending products (affiliate marketing)
  • Selling their own educational course through email marketing
  • Getting sponsorships (advertising) in their email newsletters

Get started by getting yourself professional email marketing software. It’s not expensive. Try ConvertKit. It’s very easy to use. Use Grammarly so you don't look illiterate. That’s what I use.

If you’re not a great writer, you might try AI writing software to help you out, like Rytr.

ProsCons
You get to make money online even if you’re a beginner – it’s easy – no coding needed at all. If you can email, you can do this.It’s competitive, so it’s best if you can come up with a different angle. Here are email newsletters I’ve seen that make money online:

Help finding cheap flights
Help picking the best credit card for your situation
Opinion and analysis of a Major League Baseball team
Help making more money from your side hustle
Help planning a Disney vacation
You’ll build a community of people who love your topic!
You’ll actually be helping people with your knowledge.
You can make millions of dollars with a simple email newsletter.
This is a very inexpensive online business to start for beginners.

Build and Sell an Online Course 

What You Need to Get Started: Knowledge of a topic

Do you have knowledge that others might be willing to pay for? If so, this is a great way how to make money online for beginners!

I know a woman who crushes it at online business with her course. She teaches people how to save thousands of dollars per year on flights to Disney, Hawaii, Europe, and more.

She uses the best webinar software to host video chats, where she explains what you’ll learn, and she answers questions. 

Then some of those people sign-up for her course. You can host your online course on sites like 

You might start an online course to help people learn how to

  • Perform a skill that you currently do at your job
  • Select the perfect wine to pair with any meal, including cool Ranch Doritos (hint, it’s a white zinfandel, duh)
  • Win at fantasy football
  • Win at chess
  • Do magic tricks
  • Dress more fashionably
  • Gain muscle and lose fat
  • Do geometry 
  • Read tarot cards
  • Improve their love life
  • Become a mixologist 
  • Be a party planner
  • Organize their closet
  • Win at chess while dressed more fashionably than their opponent while sipping the perfect wine to pair with an Isosceles triangle Cool Ranch Dorito 
ProsCons
Sharing your knowledge is fun.You have to be OK with being on camera or OK with partnering with a video host
You’ll build a community of students who worship you. That’s pretty cool.You have to be pretty good at explaining stuff
Once you create the course, you can sell it for years without updates or very few updates. That’s true passive income. Dope.

Uploading instructional videos is one of the best low-cost business ideas with high profit.

Become an Affiliate Marketer

What You Need to Get Started: a website, email software, or social media following (all affordable)

If you’re wondering how to make money online as a beginner, affiliate marketing is a popular option. What is affiliate marketing? It’s when you recommend products or services to your audience. Whenever someone buys it, you get paid a commission.

A super quick way to get started is to earn $20 per referral (or more). Here’s my list of the best referral bonus apps for affiliate marketers. These are all great for beginners. (As you get more advanced, there are many more options.)

My site here, Touchdown Money, is an example of affiliate marketing. I tell you about the tools that will help you make money online. When you sign-up for these tools (software) I get a commission. 

These are software tools you’d need anyhow. The problem is there are sooooo many to choose from. That’s why I break down which ones I use personally and which ones I think make sense for beginners as opposed to experts.

Pick a topic, and very likely there will be companies that have an affiliate program. 

For instance, if you are knowledgeable about fitness, you could promote affiliate products such as gym equipment, protein powder, creatine, and fitness courses from various companies.

When I worked for a travel website, we promoted various airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. So when someone booked a hotel, we got paid a commission.

The most important thing with affiliate marketing is that you earn the trust of your audience. If you just promote any ol’ product because it pays you, your audience will leave. The key is to only promote affiliates that actually benefit your audience. 

The best way to be an affiliate marketer to make money online as a beginner is to have your own website and email list.

Check out the best blogging platform, best website builder, and best managed WordPress hosting. SiteGround and DreamHost are great options.

Then get yourself kick-butt email marketing software. Personally, I use Active Campaign now, but for beginners, I absolutely love ConvertKit. MailerLite is another good option for email marketing your affiliate business. 

ProsCons
You’ll be helping people achieve their goals by recommending the tools they need.It helps to have a soul. Don’t promote crappy affiliate products!
This is relatively low-cost online business to start.

Resell Goods

What You Need to Get Started: Know where to find certain products cheap so you can resell them for a profit

Reselling is also called flipping. What flips? Everything from houses to collectibles to clothes.

Lots of people make money online by sourcing goods cheaply and then reselling them on sites like Amazon and eBay.

When I was thinking about how to make money online for beginners, I thought of hobbies that could generate cash. So yeah, this is one of those hobbies to make money. The key is to provide value. Typically your value is either:

Finding cool stuff people want but they can’t find themselves, such as hard-to-find Air Jordan sneakers

Or

Improving the product before flipping it (fixing the house or the antique furniture or the broken iPhone screen)

Reselling is a great way to make money online for beginners IF you have a talent for finding deals. Or if you’re willing to learn how to resell.

Reselling or flipping is a popular way how to turn 10k into 100k. It’s also how to double 10k quickly.

I know a guy who finds people who want a very particular home product (I can’t mention it or he’ll kill me) but they can’t get it in Europe. So he finds it here in the US and ships it to them for a big profit. His side hustle business is completely online because he actually doesn't store the product at all. He dropships it.

ProsCons
You can make good money reselling full-time or even part-time.It can be time-consuming to find the products or fix up the products.

But if you get good at that part, it’s worth it if you like this business
If you like finding the products or fixing them, it’s a fun business!You deal with customers. Some are great. Some are like hemorrhoids. 

Become a Freelance Web Designer

What You Need to Get Started: Web design skills or a passion to learn

As a web designer, you can make between $15 and $50 per hour. It varies depending on your skills and portfolio. I hired a freelance web designer to make this WordPress website you’re reading now, TouchdownMoney.com.

Here’s a terrific and affordable web design course you can take online. 

You do NOT need a college degree to become a web designer. In fact, I didn’t consider that at all when looking at who to hire. I looked at their portfolio, technical skills, and communication skills.

You can also make money online with your own web design business. So you can grow this business. For instance, the travel website I worked for paid $50,000 to a web design company to revamp their website.

Today, you can even make a no-code website with your choice of the best website builder.

ProsCons
You get to decide how much money you want to charge.It gets easier once you have great reviews and a strong portfolio of your previous work
You get to decide which projects to accept – and which to turn down.You are dealing with clients, some will be pleasant while others might be a pain in the tuchus.
Note: Tuchus is an ancient Yiddish word that means rear end.
The good news is you can fire clients (stop working with them) because YOU are the boss! That’s right, you can kick them out on their tuchus!
You get to be creative.

Start a YouTube Channel

What You Need to Get Started: something worth watching

You make money on YouTube mainly by educating people about a topic or entertaining people.

How do you get paid on YouTube?

I know a guy who makes about $80,000 per year on YouTube from the ads YouTube shows his audience. He also makes money by reviewing affiliate products. He gets paid a commission each time someone buys those products.

The next most important thing to be successful is to carefully study what other successful YouTubers are doing.

If you’re actually trying to make money online with YouTube, study which:

  • Thumbnails get your attention and make you want to click
  • Titles make you want to click
  • Video hosts make you want to keep watching

Study their techniques, copy them, then improve upon them.

A great way to make money on YouTube is to give people free information but collect their email addresses into your email marketing software, such as ConvertKit.

This way you can message them directly without worrying about the YouTube algorithm.

Once you have their emails you can upsell folks by using the best webinar software like ZohoMeeting or sell them your online course on a platform like Teachable or Skool.

ProsCons
It’s free to start a YouTube Channel.

This is how to make money online for beginners when you have no startup money.
It’s free. So anyone can do it and anyone does. There is lots of crappy competition.
It’s really easy to make money online as a beginner on YouTube because you don’t have to get sponsors yourself. You can use the ads YouTube gives you.If you’re not OK being on camera, you’ll need to partner with video hosts or use an AI host or one of those goofy cartoon characters that kinda looks like a tweenage version of you.
If you enjoy talking and stuff, it’s fun!
You get to build a community of adoring fans who want your autograph.

Common Questions About How to Make Money Online for Beginners 

How to Make Money Online for Beginners Without Paying Anything? 

  • YouTube – entertain or educate an audience. Make money from YouTube ads.
  • Affiliate marketing – Make money online through social media. Here's how to earn $20 per referral (or more). Here’s my list of referral bonus apps

Check out my insanely useful articles for beginners:

How Can I Make Money Online With No Experience or Money? 

Dang, you’re broke. OK, I get it. I was broke too. Here’s how to make money online or with no experience or money: earn $20 per referral by recommending cool free apps to your friends, family, and followers. Here’s my full list of referral bonus apps.

Or learn:

How Can a Woman Make Money Fast Online?

The best way for a woman to make money fast online is to earn $20 per referral by suggesting cool free apps to your friends, family members, and followers. Here’s my full list of referral bonus apps.

The second best way for a woman to make money fast online is to be a telehealth doctor. But uh, you’d have to already be a doctor and stuff.

Here’s a list of business ideas for women, too!

How Do I Earn Money on TikTok? 

Dance. People love the dancing on TikTok. But besides that, the idea is to gain an audience of adoring fans. Then you sell to those fans to earn money on TikTok.

To earn money, you can 

  • Partner with brands who pay you to promote them to your TikTok audience
  • Sell your products or courses on TikTok
  • Promote affiliate products and services to earn commission money
  • Upsell the audience to your premium content that costs them money

Check out TikTok for business to start earning.

Ready to go beyond TikTok? It’s not for everyone, but being on OnlyFans can potentially bring you lots of money. Check out my guide on how to make money on OnlyFans.

What Is the Best Way to Make Money as a Beginner?

Get a job. It pays money guaranteed. But if you want to make money on your own schedule and from home, do this:

  • Earn $20 per referral by promoting free apps to your friends, family members, and social media followers. Check out my list of referral bonus apps.
  • Become a YouTuber – Make money by showing YouTube ads to your audience

How to Make Money Online for Beginners From Home? 

How to Make Money Online for Beginners in USA? 

  • Making money online as a beginner in the USA is easy. You can earn $20 per referral by promoting apps to your friends, family members, social media followers, and even to people you hate. Check out my list of referral bonus apps.
  • Become a YouTuber – Make money from YouTube ads. USA channels tend to get paid more by advertisers because we Americans have more money to spend online compared to people in the beautiful nation of Bhutan. (They’re too busy being happy and meditating in the mountains.)
  • Write a blog. Use only the best web hosting services that load fast in the USA. Here is the best website builder. Use Grammarly to fix grammar issues. It’s like having a free 9th grade English teacher, but it won’t send you to detention for saying who instead of whom.

How to Make Money Online for Beginners for Free? 

  • Earn $20 per referral by promoting free apps to your friends, family members, and social media followers. Click to see my list of referral bonus apps. It’s totally free to annoy your family members. So that’s a great way to make money.
  • Become a YouTuber – Make money online from YouTube ads. I made money online as a beginner on YouTube. I didn’t get rich, but it paid my bills. 

Sources:

1 – https://www.census.gov/retail/mrts/www/data/pdf/ec_current.pdf

Related:

Touchdown Money on YouTube [Coming Soon!]

Subscribe to Touchdown Money on YouTube. You'll find step-by-step tutorials to help you make money online. I review the tools and technology you need to be successful. I also reveal my best tips, tricks, and shortcuts.

About Scott Lieberman

Scott Lieberman is founder of Touchdown Money. Scott has been making money online for over 20 years. It's allowed him to travel the world while working remotely. Scott is an expert in online business, digital marketing, credit card reward programs, and content marketing strategies.

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