Making money online. This term often misleads people into thinking that making money online is a cakewalk. It is actually if you are looking to earn a few dollars a month. But if you want to earn enough that it replaces your job or eliminate the need to find a job. It’s hard. Especially, if you don’t know how.
People want to make money on the Internet for many reasons: they don’t like their jobs, they don’t want to work for someone else, etc. But students in India are also looking for ways to make money online. The biggest reason for this is the acute shortage of employment opportunities. India is facing the highest unemployment rate in 45 years: 6.1%.
So in this post, I have listed 15 ways to make money online in India. Most of the methods to earn money are available for almost every country. So even if you are not from India you can take away a few things from this post.
So without further delay below are the 15 ways to make money online in India:
1. Start an eCommerce Site:
No, not a nation-wide eCommerce site like Flipkart(well, you could if you have the required resources).
What I’m referring to is, creating a small online store that would sell physical goods or services in a small area. This is a great way for merchants to increase their sales. But what to do if you are not a shop owner?
You have two options:
1. Buy goods and store them which would require a reasonable investment depending on the goods.
2. Go out and talk to wholesalers or product manufacturers. Explain to them what you are planning to do and how it will benefit them without costing them anything. Once you have partnered with them, you can list the products with the necessary images and details on your site.
The advantage of this method is that this doesn’t require much investment. The only cost you’ll be incurring is the cost of hosting and managing your site.
You won’t earn high margins though. But you are not investing a lot of cash. All you have to do is buy the products for which you receive the order and give the address for shipment.
There are many options available to create an eCommerce site like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Prestashop and more. You can also add your affiliate link of products on Amazon or any other eCommerce site and earn a commission for every purchase.
With this method, you can earn a few hundred dollars monthly. But it is a good option to make money online on the side.
2. Become a Freelancer
Who is a freelancer?
“A freelancer or freelance worker is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term.”- Wikipedia
It means that you are not an employee and earn a salary on a monthly basis.
When you work as a freelancer you work for a company or a person on a project. You get paid hourly or on the basis of the project.
“The recent report on the freelancing culture has shown tremendous growth in terms of percentage of freelancers and the economic contribution they will be generating. According to a survey recently conducted by PayPal, 47% of freelancers have grown in terms of income drawn through the freelancing work in 12 months. The freelance field is said to grow to 20$-30$ billion in the next 5–7 years in India and the freelancers in the US will comprise 40% (approx.) of the workforce at the present growth rate.”- Wikipedia
You can become a freelancer if you any marketable skill- writing, web development, app development, marketing and more.
But you won’t get a freelance job as soon as you “become a freelancer”. You’ll need to improve your marketing and communication skills as you are basically marketing yourself.
There are many websites where you can build your profile and bid for posted jobs or let others find you. Getting a job is easy if you have experience of a few years but if you’re fresh, it’s gonna be difficult.
3. Create Apps/Games:
You can also make money online by creating your own game or application.
To create your own application you’ll need to learn programming languages like C, C++, HTML5, Swift, Java. Or if you have an idea for an application that you think would be profitable, you can hire professional programmers.
You have to decide what kind of app you are going to make. The services the app will provide and other aspects. Depending on the kind of application you want to create you will need investment and workers.
So once you have created your app, how can you earn money?
Here are some of the ways to make money online with your app:
Paid App: You could make a paid app that users need to purchase before they can use it.
In-App-Purchases: This works great for games. Usually, developers offer a game for free and provide different items that can be bought to enhance your gaming experience or save hours or even days of playing for the in-game currency.
Advertisement: You can also register your app with an ad-provider like InMobi and let them show ads in your app. You can choose what kind of ads you want to show- banner ads, video ads, etc.
Subscription: You can offer subscription plans for various features/services.
Affiliate Program: You can join a mobile affiliate network and advertise relevant apps, products, and services and earn from it.
If you can create a successful app you can earn 1000s of dollars per month.
4. Become a YouTuber
A YouTuber is basically a YouTube channel owner who creates video content.
You can create your YouTube channel for free. The only cost you’ll be incurring would be on making the videos and editing.
You can create almost any kind of video. You can even just record yourself playing games, reacting to some other video. Or if you are an expert in something you can create tutorials. Or if you are an entertainer you can record your bits and upload them to your YouTube channel.
Broadly, you can either educate or entertain.
So how can you make money online with your YouTube channel?
Ads: The most common way is to monetize your videos with Google Adsense. But, Google recently introduced new criteria: Only those channels are eligible for Adsense that have at least 1,000 subscribers and reached 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months. Once you have reached this threshold your channel will automatically be reviewed. If your channel complies with YouTube’s guidelines, your channel will be accepted.
Affiliate marketing: You can also earn by providing your affiliate links to products related to your video. A large part of the income of YouTubers who review products comes from this method.
Sponsors: After your channel is popular and starts getting enough views, you’ll start getting requests for sponsored videos. For example, if you review gadgets a company may pay you for reviewing their product or saying-“this video is brought to you by…”.
Before you create your channel give some thought to the niche that you are interested in. And then read the YouTube guidelines so that you don’t get copyright strikes or get your account taken down for inappropriate content.
Building a successful channel takes time and effort. You need to regularly publish new videos and improve the quality of your videos.
5. Write a Blog:
“A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries. Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page”- Wikipedia
A blog is a website where Authors of the blog publish articles. These articles can also contain images and embedded audio/videos. An example of a blog would be Infosmush.com.
Making money with a blog is not easy. But if you work hard and smart you can earn thousands of dollars a month.
1st Step: The first step in creating a successful blog is picking a profitable niche that you are interested in. A profitable niche means a niche with high affiliate marketing opportunities. In affiliate marketing, you will earn a commission every time your referred blog reader buys the affiliated product.
Due to this nature of affiliate marketing, many bloggers exploit their reader by just writing about the pros of a product/service rather than assessing every aspect of it. They sound like a salesman rather than a genuine person talking about a product.
Don’t do it
Because to build a successful blog you need to build an audience. The readers of your blog should trust you. You can’t build trust by lying. I can’t emphasize this enough: be loyal to your readers. Treat them as your friends.
2nd Step: The second step is to select your domain name. If you can’t come up with one on your own you can tools that generate domain names. Just google this- “domain name generator”.
Your domain name should be easy to remember and should not contain confusing or numbers or numerical words. You could pick a name that means something or think of a meaningless name. Your domain name can also be made up of more than one word. For example, InfoSmush combines two words: ‘information’ and ‘smush’.
Once you have decided on the domain name. Buy it from GoDaddy or any other domain registrar.
3rd Step: Now, you need to buy a hosting service. You can choose a shared WordPress hosting like Bluehost, Hostgator and A2. The first year will cost you between $100 to $200.
Most companies that provide shared WordPress hosting offer a free domain. So, if you plan to host your domain on a paid hosting service, you can buy the domain name from them as well.
If you are not sure about spending all that money or blogging you can host your domain on Blogger.com for free. And once you are sure, you can switch to paid hosting, as Blogger does not provide all the feature that you’re gonna need to expand your blog.
You can make money with your blog with Ads, affiliate marketing and sponsored posts.
You can apply for ad providers like Adsense, Infolinks, BuySellAds.
Your income will increase as you write more posts and build your viewership.
6. Create an Online Course:
You can create courses on topics like art, photography, blogging, using complex software, self-improvement or any other.
If you are an expert in something and got lots of experience, half is already done. You can create a course with less effort as you already know how to teach.
But the most important step is figuring out whether there is demand for the course you are going to create? Are people willing to pay for it?
Before you start building your course, answer these questions:
1. Who will the course target?
2. Would the learners pay for it?
3. How much would they be able to pay?
If the topic is profitable, the next step is to decide what will you put in the course and how the course will be divided into lessons? What will be the length of the lessons?
You also have to choose the content delivery method. You have to decide whether your course is delivered in text, video or audio or a combination of the 3.
The answers to these can vary for different topics. And if you have no experience in this field, making all those decisions could be confusing. So start taking courses that you are interested in. Pay attention not only to the subject of the course but also on the course. This gives you an idea of how a course looks and how it is organized. What elements(text, video, image, audio) will be required to make your own course captivating and more valuable.
Once you have decided what you’ll put in the course and how the course would be organized, start creating your course. While you are creating your course keep track of your competitors. What’s their business strategy? How they attract buyers? And build your own strategy.
After your course is created and validated. You need to decide where your course will be hosted. You can host the course on your own website or use services like Teachable and Udemy.
After your online course is up, it’s not gonna sell itself. You need to market it and attract learners. You can market your course through Facebook, Reddit, twitter. You can use ads. If you own a website write a marketing article. Or you can guest post on relevant blogs.
Right course in the right market can earn you millions. But the success of course mainly relies on your marketing skills and the course itself. If people find your course helpful, it’s very likely that they’ll recommend it to others.
Keep your course up to date.
The greatest advantage of selling a course to make money online is that it generates passive income. You just need to promote and update your course from time to time.
7. Write and Sell eBooks:
The Internet has changed a lot of things including how we read and publish books. Now you don’t have to go through the hassles of getting your book published through a publishing house.
You can write your book on your computer, tablet or even smartphone and publish it yourself.
eBooks refer to books that are available in a digital format like PDF, ePub, etc and can be downloaded/purchased online.
If you have decent writing skills you should be able to write a book. Choose a topic that you are good at or really passionate about. Your eBook could be on any topic, sci-fi, fantasy, business, guides or you can write your own story.
When you are writing your book don’t try to show off your vocabulary. Use simple words and in a conversational style.
After you have done writing, proofread and correct any spelling and grammatical errors. You can use Grammarly, which a tool that detects errors and suggests correct words. Before you publish the eBook ask some of your friends or family members to read the book and provide feedback.
If the feedbacks are good you can proceed to publish your book.
You can either publish your book on Amazon Kindle or convert your book into PDF and sell it from your own website and receive payment via PayPal.
But the advantage of selling your ebook on Kindle is that you have access to millions of readers worldwide which you might never reach through your site. Obviously, Amazon will keep a commission for every sale- 30%.
You don’t have to create 300-500 page book you can create a short book and set its price accordingly.
You also need to market your eBook to increase its sale.
8. Write For Others:
If you are thinking you can’t write, don’t. Even if have no experience in writing you can learn. And it’s not as hard as you might think. There are many blogs where you can learn writing better copies for free. One of the best persons to learn writing from is Henneke of enchantingmarketing.com. If you are interested in improving your writing skills you’ll definitely find her blog helpful.
I think you already know this but read and write every day.
There are many ways to make money online by writing for others. You can write for online magazines, blogs, website.
But where do you find these writing jobs?
The obvious place is Freelance websites. You can create your account on sites like UpWork, Freelancer, Truelancer and bid for writing jobs. For your bids to be accepted you need an impressive portfolio. So before you look for writing jobs work on your writing skills.
You can also write a blog and allow buyers to purchase your services directly from your blog. Advantages of writing a blog are that you can improve your writing skills by writing blog posts in your niche, you can earn by promoting third-party products/services, and if your blog takes off you have another proof of your writing skills besides the numerous posts on your blog.
You can also make an arrangement with a blog that allows you to earn remuneration for writing articles from the comfort of your home.
If you have a vision for an innovative product or service, you should go ahead and launch your startup. While launching and building your own business is the most difficult way to make money online, it is the one with the greatest possibilities.
If you are successful in creating an online service or tool that has a high demand, you’d be rolling in money(not overnight).
Building a successful startup online or offline requires deep knowledge of the customers, industry and demand pattern.
You should always be ready to learn and grow as an entrepreneur.
Like I said building your own business is not easy. But there are some books that can help you minimize the chances of failure.
The one that I recommend is The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. In this book, Eric talks about the scientific methodology for creating a successful business and stories of various startups.
10. Taking Surveys Online
I’ll tell you right off the bat that taking surveys won’t make you rich. You won’t even earn $30 a month if you live in a small city or state.
I’ve listed this here for those who just need some extra cash on the side. There are plenty of sites where you can signup and earn rewards for sharing your opinion.
11. Rewards Site
These are those websites which reward you for completing various types of tasks online. These tasks may include signing up for newsletters, downloading apps, and more.
Most of the time you will earn pennies. The more time a task takes to complete the more it pays.
Most of the rewards sites have partnered with survey providers so that you can take surveys on these sites and don’t have to sign up for a survey site.
12. Complete Micro Tasks
You can also earn money online by completing microtasks. These tasks are simple and usually take less than 10 minutes. You can get paid for liking a Facebook page, Subscribing to a YouTube channel, writing a review, research, etc.
The reward for each task depends on the complexity of the task. You can earn anywhere between $0.10 to $20 per task.
Some of the microtask services are Amazon Mechanical Turk(MTurk), MicroWorkers, Clickworker.
13. Play Fantasy Sports:
Well, this isn’t actually a way to make money online it’s more of a way to win money.
Over the last few years, the Fantasy sports industry has grown rapidly. And it all started with Dream11.
Playing fantasy sports is risky but if you have luck on your side you can win huge cash prizes by spending a negligible amount. For example a few weeks ago I won Rs. 9,000 in a contest the entry fee of which was Rs. 50.
So yes, you can win a lot of money. But it all comes down to luck.
14. PTC Sites:
On PTC(Paid to click) websites you can earn pennies by viewing sponsored sites/ads. For every ad visited you will earn $0.001 or a little more.
Of all the methods mentioned in this post, this is the easiest and useless one.
You could be viewing ads for months and still won’t earn $1. You’ll be frustrated long before you reach the redemption threshold which is usually $2-$5.
So, don’t waste your time on PTC sites.
15. Money Making Apps:
There are many apps where you can make money online. Most of the money-making apps are available for both iOS and Android. With these apps, you can earn some extra cash on the go.
These apps are easy to use and you can find a ton of these apps at Infosmush.com.
16. Resell Goods:
If you don’t have much time you can make money online by purchasing second-hand goods from others through services like OLX. Then you can resell them at a higher price with or without making some changes.
The trick is to wait for sometime before posting the product back on and setting the price higher than the price you want.
17. Test Websites & Earn Money:
This is probably one of the easiest ways to earn money. As a website tester, you are required to navigate through a website or app and describe what you feel.
To make money online by testing websites you will require the following:
1. A laptop or desktop computer
3. Some sites may require a webcam- They are very few though.
Most user testing sites will pay $10-30 per test that can take 20-30 minutes.
While you are testing the website or app you will be required to say how you feel about the look, feel, page load time, and other aspects. Just keep talking as you are browsing through the site. Most of the time the website that connects testers and website/app designers will provide their own screen recorder that you can use to record the screen of your device.
You may also sometime need to write a summary of your experience.
The reason I say; this way of making money is easy is because you just need to say and write how you feel.
There are many websites where you can test websites and earn money. But many of them are not accepting testers, especially from India.
Some of the sites you can try: TryMyUI, UserTesting, Enroll
Is the list missing something? Share your thoughts via the comment box below.